Target: President Obama
Goal: Save pollinator habitat and increase land dedicated to bee preserves.
One of the most fertile bee keeping states, North Dakota, has lost over 2,000 acres of good beekeeping land in the past 10 years. Farmers who formerly kept the land fallow to receive federal subsidies are instead deciding to plant soybeans and corn. However, one in five U.S colonies still summer in North Dakota. Because North Dakota has so many of them, preserving bee habitats there is very important. Urge President Obama to re-visit federal subsidies for preserving good beekeeping land in North Dakota.
Bees are crucial both to the U.S. food supply and economy, in addition to providing vital services for the environment. Worldwide, bees fertilize 30 percent of crops and 90 percent of wild plants. They also pollinate a number of U.S. crops including alfalfa, almonds, apples, berries, cantaloupes, and cucumbers. Every winter, 1.8 million hives are used to pollinate the California almond crop alone.
In total, bees pollinate $15 billion in U.S. crops. Declines in the bee population could be costing the U.S. economy $5.7 billion annually. Increasing federal subsidies for bee preserves isn’t a handout; it’s an investment.
However, there is a ray of hope in the midst of declining bee populations. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of North Dakota bee keepers rose from 182 to 246, a 35 percent increase. There are still people looking to enter the industry. Tell President Obama to capitalize on this momentum and preserve the habitats the bees need to thrive.
Dear Mr. President,
Federal programs that safeguard bee habitats must be preserved. Key among these habitats are the North Dakota prairies, which have lost 2,000 acres of good bee land since 2006. Increasingly, farmers have elected to grow soybeans or corn rather than keep the land free for the bees in trade for federal payments. Fifteen billion dollars’ worth of the U.S food supply depends on bee pollination. Promote bee habitats and encourage North Dakota farmers to do the same.
The drop in the bee population may cost the U.S. economy $5.7 billion dollars per year. Many of the crops that the U.S. relies on for its food supply and economic support are fertilized by bees, such as alfalfa, almonds, apples, berries, cantaloupes, and cucumbers. At least 1.8 million hives are needed to pollinate the California almond crop alone.
Despite the drastic decline in bee populations, there are still people who wish to enter the field. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of North Dakota bee keepers rose by 35 percent. This state is already an important home for the bees, with one out of five U.S. colonies traveling there during the summer. Take advantage of North Dakota’s bee friendly habitats and support bee health throughout the state.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: I Craig