Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Obama to Save Honeybees, Disregards Toxic Pesticides


(Photo : REUTERS/HEINZ-PETER BADER) A bee collects pollen from a dandelion blossom on a lawn in Klosterneuburg.

The United States government plans to reverse the decline of honeybees whose population has decreased by half over the last 70 years, the White House announced Tuesday.

President Obama's administration has now decided to step in the issue of honeybee decline in the country as it threatens both its agricultural production and the environment. After all, honeybees are among the most effective pollinators in nature.

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The plan involves converting acres of federal land into bee-friendly spaces to attract honeybees and other pollinators like the monarch butterfly. It also plans to establish seed banks to promote the planting of bee-friendly plants.

In addition, it aims to allocate millions of dollars to train scientists for honeybee research.

The government's strategy involves all sectors of the society to reverse the trend of decline among the country's pollinators, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and Secretary of Agriculture said in a letter that accompanied the announcement.

However, despite the initiative, the government fails to address a potential problem - the widespread use of pesticides toxic to honeybees.

To promote honeybee-friendly lands without eliminating the use of pesticides, especially those with neonicotinoids or neonics linked to honeybee deaths, is a counterproductive move.

In a study conducted by Harvard University, half of the honeybee specimen died when exposed to neonicotinoids, which, apparently, is the most used insecticide around the world.

"President Obama's National Pollinator Health Strategy misses the mark by not adequately addressing the pesticides as a key driver of unsustainable losses of bees and other pollinators essential to our food system," Friends of the Earth's Lisa Archer said.

Fran Teplitz of Green America also called on the president to ban these pesticides from the marketplace.

Both domestic and wild honeybees contribute billions of dollars to the economy as it is responsible for the pollination of more than 90 commercial crops in the U.S. Likewise, they are responsible for 80 percent of pollination around the world, a Greenpeace study reports.

Honeybee colonies have been declining steadily over the years. Last year, about 40 percent of the population was lost in the U.S.

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