Grist – Environmental News

The White House is buzzing with plans to save the bees

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) on wild fennel, Albany, California. Photo credit Jack Wolf via Grist

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) on wild fennel, Albany, California. Photo credit Jack Wolf via Grist

By Liz Core

The White House may not always have its priorities straight, but we’re pretty excited about the Obama administration’s buzzworthy new plan to save pollinators.

Last June, the president created a bee-saving task force. Today, the team — headed up by the EPA and the Department of Agriculture — released their 10-year plan for pollinator rejuvenation. Here’s what the plan aims to do: Bump monarch butterfly numbers to 225 million and reduce winter honey bee colony losses by about half; make 7 million acres of land more pollinator-friendly; research how to minimize bees’ exposure to pesticides; and re-evaluate the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides.

In total, the strategy will require $82 million of the 2016 budget. Don’t worry, Republicans, it’ll be worth it: Aiding pollinators helps the economy, food security, and environmental health. Here’s more from the White House:

Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year, and helps ensure that our diets include ample fruits, nuts, and vegetables. This tremendously valuable service is provided to society by honey bees, native bees and other insect pollinators, birds, and bats.

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