As part of a new Hollywood Food Voices PSA series, electronic musician/DJ Moby speaks about his passion for bees and very real threat of their disappearance.
If I tell you that our food system is threatened by the potential disappearance of honeybees, due to a very real, and very alarming, phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), it feels like I'm preaching to the choir. If you read TreeHugger at all, then of course you know that bees are essential to our food supply, because we've written a lot about it over the years, including this recent state of the bees post from Manon.
Just to frame the issue clearly, about a third of all the crops grown for food in the US depend on honeybees for pollination, yet the number of managed colonies in the country has dropped to half (2.5 million) of what it was in 1940 (5 million), and entire colonies of honeybees are disappearing every day. And not only does domestic food production rely on honeybee pollination, but it's said that about 70% of all plants are dependent on bees and other species of native insects for pollination, which may also be threatened by the same causes that affect honeybees, including "egregious pesticide use" with a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids (also said to be implicated in killing birds).
If you're already aware of the issues facing bees, and in consequence, us as a species, then watching Moby talk about his passion for bees, as well as the threats to their survival, is probably not going to add too much to your knowledge. However, due to the power that celebrities have in our popular culture, the new PSA series from The Center for Food Safety, called “Hollywood Food Voices”, may be able to help raise awareness of the issue among a much wider range of people than just foodies and greenies.
What can you do to help the plight of our favorite pollinators?
You can start by signing this petition that calls on the US EPA to immediately suspend the use of these bee-killing pesticides. And you can share it with all your friends and relations on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and urge that they sign it.
After that, here are some other very practical actions you can take to help bees:
- Plant more pollinator-friendly plants in your yard and garden, especially native plants that are bee favorites
- Stop using any kind of pesticide in the yard and garden, or failing that, to at least quit using ones with ingredients such as Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Clothianidin, Dinotefuran, or Acetamiprid
- Urge your local homeowner's association, school board, parks authority, city government, etc., to stop using neonicotinoids
- Educate your friends, coworkers, and family about the importance of honeybees and native pollinators, as well as what practical steps they can take to both end the use of neonicotinoids and to provide beneficial habitats for bees at home.