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EPA Gets Surprise Delivery Of Millions Of Dead Bees

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Conservationists are planning to dump three million honey bee carcasses on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) doorstep.

“The millions of dead bees that have accompanied us during the Keep the Hives Alive Tour are carrying a message — this is just a tiny fraction of the devastation beekeepers are dealing with year after year,” Larissa Walker, director of the pollinator program at the Center for Food Safety, told reporters.

The bee die-off is years in the making.

Earlier this year, the White House set forth an aggressive strategy deemed the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, a 64-page policy framework for rescuing the country’s bees from extinction.

The strife began 10 years ago, in 2006, when beekeepers noticed bees dying. Beekeepers and conservationists dubbed the phenomenon the “colony collapse disorder,” which accounts for the loss of some 20 to 40 percent of managed honey bee colonies.

The EPA is responsible for regulating the external environment affecting the bee colonies, which are crucial to the pollination of vegetable and fruit, and keeping crop fields burgeoning.

“It’s well past time for policymakers to wake up and take action to curb the use of the toxic pesticides that are harming pollinators, people and our environment,” Walker said.

The Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among others, are organizing the bee delivery.

The number of honeybee colonies has skyrocketed since 2006, moving from 2.4 million to 2.7 million in 2014, according to data tracked by the USDA. The 2014 numbers show that the population of commercial bees is now the highest it’s been in 20 years.

“It’s not the honey bees that are in danger of going extinct,” Kim Kaplan, a researcher with USDA, wrote in an email to The Washington Post in 2015.

Kaplan added: “It is the beekeepers providing pollination services because of the growing economic and management pressures. The alternative is that pollination contracts per colony have to continue to climb to make it economically sustainable for beekeepers to stay in business and provide pollination to the country’s fruit, vegetable, nut and berry crops.”

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