Target: Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division
Goal: Ban the sale of a nicotine-based insecticide that is decimating bee populations in the United States.
Recent evidence shows the the United States’ bee populations are in a nationwide decline. This directly results in a decline in the nation’s supply of fruits and vegetables, as well as the diversity of the food supply as a whole. This is due to the production of nicotine-based insecticides called neonicotinoids.
Substantial evidence shows the correlation between the use of neonicotinoids and the death of wild bees. The studies show that when bees are exposed to these insecticides, they are no longer able to find their way back to their hive. They continuously fly in search of their home until they drop dead from exhaustion. Specific evidence from one study showed that when a colony had been exposed to neonicotinoids, it produced 85 percent fewer queens. This equates to 85 percent fewer hives. Based on this evidence, it is no surprise why the bee population is dwindling at alarming rates.
Bayer markets and sells its neonicotinoids to farmers and growers of corn, cotton, wheat, soy, sorghum, peanuts, as well as other crops. In the year 2010 alone, over 142 million acres were planted and treated with seeds treated by neonicotinoids. Additionally, these chemicals can also be found in common home garden and landscaping products.
It has been found that one mouthful in three of the foods consumed are dependent on the pollination by bees. This equates to a value of more than $14 billion annually, according to one study done by Cornell University. A diverse range of crops including nuts and vegetables all rely on the pollination of wild bees.
The registration of neonicotinoids was originally registered by the EPA but has since then been discredited by numerous studies. Unless action is taken, the bee population will be nonexistent thus affecting our already unstable food supply. The EPA must act now to save the wild bee by banning the use of neonicotinoids.
Dear EPA Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division,
Recent studies have shown an alarming decrease in the wild bee population largely due to the use of neonicotinoids. The use of this nerve-damaging insecticide has been shown to devastate bee colonies on which we rely so heavily for a large majority of our food source.
Since the time when the EPA originally approved the use of this insecticide, extensive research has surfaced showing the damaging affects of it on bee colonies. Numerous studies point to neonicotinoid to be responsible for the reduction of bee colony reproduction by up to 85%.
Without bees to pollinate, our crops and food supply is in serious danger. In has been shown that one in three bites is attributed to the work of wild bees. If bee populations keep declining at current rates, we will face a major food crisis in the near future. Crops from alfalfa, pumpkin, and sunflowers, to cantaloupe will all face the same dwindling rates if action isn’t taken today to protect the wild bees.
Although neonicotinoids were previously approved by the EPA, it does not mean that they are safe. The EPA needs to stay abreast of current research in order to determine if it affects regulations and laws that have already been created. Unless the EPA reevaluates the use of neonicotinoids our bees population will cease to exist and our food supply will face a similar end shortly after.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: WM Connolley