Protecting Pollinators

According to an annual survey conducted by a bee partnership that includes the Department of Agriculture and EPA, more than two out of five American honeybee colonies died in the past year.
Since April of last year, beekeepers lost around 42 percent of their colonies, the second highest loss rate in nine years.
The states of Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin all saw more than 60 percent of their hives die since April 2014.
The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research held a hearing on pollinator health Wednesday, the first in more than a year.
Appearing before lawmakers was Jim Jones – EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
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Jones told lawmakers the EPA is focusing on three primary areas.
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EPA and USDA are the two coordinating agencies for the White House Pollinator Health Task Force, which President Obama launched nearly a year ago.  Jones said they’ll soon roll out additional initiatives for continuing to improve pollinator health.
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Agriculture, pesticide, environmental and beekeeping interests are hopeful the long-expected report from the White House will lay out steps federal agencies must take to reverse the significant decline in honeybees, butterflies, wild bees and other insects that carry pollen from one plant to the next.