Bees In the Balance

At the bidding of big agribusiness, the Trump administration has moved to reverse Obama-era bans on the use of neonic pesticides. Over the last few years wild bees and other pollinators have been disappearing at an alarming rate from key farmlands across the United States. Scientists cite the widespread use of systemic pesticides, notably Neonicotinoids, a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine as a key factor in the bees demise.

During the Obama administration a small number of significant steps were taken to offer beseiged pollinators a 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-friendly forage habitat. Financial incentives were also offered to farmers in order to encourage them to sow bee-friendly plants including wildflowers and native grasses.

Now, as the Trump Administration cuts the legs out from under even those first few steps, the future of bees, and the world to which they belong, hangs in the balance.