If we want to save the bees, we need science that documents their decline and illustrates the nature of the problem.
That's why, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stopped collecting data for its crucial Honey Bee Colonies report this summer, 16,000 members and supporters from across our national network made their objections known to the department. On Sept. 16, the USDA announced it would resume data collection on Oct. 1, the beginning of its next fiscal year.
"The bee die-off is truly a crisis, and it would have been pure folly to think we shouldn’t study the situation," said Steve Blackledge, senior director of our network's Conservation program. “While the gap in data is a loss, we're glad that scientists will regain access to this important research.”
Around the country, our network is campaigning to save the bees by banning the most common and problematic use of "neonics," a class of bee-killing pesticides.
Photo: Honeybee research is crucial to helping us understand threats to a wide variety of pollinators. Credit: TJ Gehling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)