Claire Kremen discusses, “Obama Dedicates Land, Money to Honey Bee Restoration” on NPR’s Forum with Michael Krasny at KQED radio. Click here to listen to the full podcast.
Seven million acres of bee habitat will be restored over the next five years in an effort by the federal government to reverse the decline of the United States’ honeybee population. The matter is urgent: beekeepers lost more than 40 percent of their colonies in 2014 according to a federal report. The plan also calls for investing more money in research. But some environmentalists say bolder action is needed, including restrictions on pesticides that studies have linked to honeybee colony collapse disorder. We’ll discuss President Obama’s plan as well as the impact the drought is having on the state’s bees.
For the last few years, Richard Rant has agreed to let researchers introduce strips of wildflowers among the blueberry plants on his family’s farm in West Olive, Michigan. It’s part of an experiment to see if the wildflowers can encourage pollinating insects and, in a small way, begin to reverse the worldwide decline in beneficial insects. It’s also a pioneering effort in the nascent movement to persuade farmers to grow insects almost as if they were a crop.
February 3rd, 2014. Richard Conniff
Reviving native bee species could save honeybees–and our agricultural system–from collapse.
Some of the most healthful foods you can think of — blueberries, cranberries, apples, almonds and squash — would never get to your plate without the help of insects. No insects, no pollination. No pollination, no fruit.
Farmers who grow these crops often rely on honeybees to do the job. But scientists are now reporting that honeybees, while convenient, are not necessarily the best pollinators.
March 1st, 2013. Dan Charles
Wild bees pollinate orchards more efficiently than rented honeybees, and for no cost, a study finds. They may provide the solution to the mass die-off of the domesticated bees from disease.