Scientists point to several causes for bee die-offs, including bee-killing pesticides, the loss of good habitat, disease and our changing climate. While we’re working to address each of these problems, the three things we can do right now to save the bees are to plant more pollinator-friendly plants; stop the use of bee-killing pesticides in parks, wildlife refuges and other places bees should be safe; and promote sustainable, less pesticide-reliant agricultural practices.
1. Reducing the sale and use of pesticides: Major retailers such as Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware and many others have made commitments to move the market away from selling bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides, aka neonics. We’re calling on the online giant Amazon to do the same.
2. Protecting safe havens for bees: There are some places where bees should be safe. Parks, wildlife refuges, national parks and more should be free of bee-killing pesticides. Further, bee-killing pesticides have no place in our urban landscapes and backyards, as our urban environs have increasingly become important for bees. Already, Connecticut, Maryland and Vermont have banned the sale of bee-killing pesticides to consumers. America should do the same.
3. Planting pollinator-friendly plants: The great thing about habitat is that small spaces can do wonders. Parks, roadsides and government lawns are all perfect for wildflowers and pollinator-friendly plants. We’re calling on cities, counties, states and the federal government to commit to planting wildflowers and other plants that benefit bees. We helped convince Congress to call upon the military to manage its 11 million acres of land to better protect habitat for pollinators.