Over the last few years wild bees and other pollinators have been disappearing at an alarming rate from key farmlands across the United States including: California’s Central Valley. Scientists cite the widespread use of pesticides in industrial agriculture (notably neonicotinoids), as a significant factor in their demise.
During the Obama administration small but significant steps were undertaken to offer beseiged pollinators some measure of life support. Bills were authored to finance and promote pollinator health and goals were set for the USDA and other agencies to conserve and enhance three million acres of bee-friedly forage habitat.There were even financial incentives offered to farmers who sowed bee-friendly plants on their farms including wildflowers and native grasses. Farmers were urged to employ natural predators as a more sustainable means of pest control.
Tragically, today, with the backing of the chemical industry, the Trump administration has now moved to reverse the Obama-era ban on the use of neonic pesticides, and GM crops on national wildlife refuges where farming occurs is currently permitted.
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.