More to protect bees
The threat of colony collapse deserves immediate attention from our state policymakers. Bees are our most important pollinators — hundreds of thousands of plants depend on their pollination. Accordingly, large-scale bee deaths have dire consequences for our environment and global food supply.
Domestic honeybee hives have dropped from six million colonies in the 1940s to about 2.5 million today. The death of honeybee colonies continues to rise. Last winter, U.S. beekeepers lost nearly 40 percent of their colonies — the worst reported winter hive loss on record. Neonicotinoids — or neonics — are a leading suspect in colony collapse disorder. These highly toxic pesticides poison bees´ nervous systems and impact their ability to learn, reproduce and fight infections. Neonics are between 5,000 and 10,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT.
The most effective way to curb the threat of bee-killing neonics is, quite simply, to limit their use. Our state should follow the lead of Connecticut, Maryland and Vermont and enact a ban on the consumer sale of neonics. Thank you for your time and consideration of this very important issue.