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The World’s Bee Population Is In Danger, and So Is Our Future

Jun 24, 2016 05:15 AM EDT
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Bees are dying, and they are caused by insecticides called neonicotinoids.
(Photo : Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Bees in the nation are slowly dying off, which means the future of humans' food resource is in grave danger as well. Basically, no bees means no food. The problem is linked to the pesticide called neonicotinoids, which is 6,000 more toxic than DDT.

According to Environment Massachusetts (via CBS Boston), a group aiming to build public awareness on the alarming rate of the decrease in bee population, 40 percent of the world's bee population die each year.

Providing more credence to the alarming situation, Eco Watch reported that 2.6 million dead bees have been delivered outside the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday.

"In the five years since I started keeping bees, I've seen many hives killed by pesticides. If some fundamental things don't change, it's going to be really hard for beekeepers to adapt to the environment around us," said James Cook,  Minnesota-based beekeeper, to Eco Watch. Cook has been driving the truck across the country since last Monday. 

A coast-to-coast tour called Keep the Hives Alive Tour is now being conducted by environmental groups aiming to raise awareness about the decline in the pollinators' population. Following the disturbing news, advocates and beekeepers also accumulated more than 4 million signatures to immediately ban the neonicotinoids.

According to My Central Jersey, on Thursday, Peter Marchetta, a canvasser with Environment New Jersey, and Michael Long, owner of Uriah Creek Apiary, also held a "To Bee or Not to Bee" picnic in Buccleuch Park.

Marchetta, who's also a Rutgers University student from Princeton who's currently studying environmental policy, said:

"It's simple. Bees, food, us. It's very direct and people don't get that."

And rightly so.

Omar Ali from Environment Massachusetts says 71 of the world's top 100 crops need pollination from bees, therefore the insects are essentially the source of 90 percent of the world's food resource.

With more than 40 percent of honeybee hives dying each year, the U.S. farming and beekeeping industry is also simultaneously losing $2 billion per year. The "To Bee or Not to Bee" picnic also wants to encourage the EPA to ban the neonicotinoids.

Meanwhile, the Keep the Hives Alive Tour wrapped up Wednesday with farmers, beekeepers and food advocates meeting EPA officials and members of Congress and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They delivered letters from almost 200 businesses and organizations that asks support on sustainable agriculture and the ban of the pesticides.

The issue can only be addressed if immediate action is taken, and fortunately, the outlook seems to be positive.

Stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot have now taken action, agreeing to stop selling plants that have been treated with neonicotinoids.

Know more about this issue in the video below:

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