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. Goals were set for the USDA and other agencies to conserve and enhance three million acres of bee-friedly forage habitat. Financial incentives were 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.
But today, with the blessings of the chemical industry, the Trump administration has moved to reverse the Obama-era ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides and GM crops on the national wildlife refuges where farming is also now 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.