Worldwide bee populations are in decline, including the honey bee and many of our wild native bees. One example: The yellow-banded bumble bee was the most abundant bumble bee in northern Wisconsin in the mid-1990s, then within ten years it made up less than 1% of the state’s bumble bee population. In Oregon, Franklin’s bumble bee has likely gone extinct during the same period.
Plants need bees to pollinate, making bees indispensable pollinators of most ecosystems.There are 369,000 flowering plant species, and 90% of them are dependent on insect pollination. A honeybee can usually visit 50-1000 flowers in one trip; if bee takes ten trips a day, a colony with 25,000 forager bees can pollinate 250 million flowers in a day.
Bees are a keystone species, with other species dependent on them to survive. Many species of animals depend on bees for their survival because their food sources, including nuts, berries, seeds, and fruits, rely on insect pollination. Pollination not only makes food available for other organisms but also allows floral growth, which provides habitats for animals, including other insects and birds. As pollinators disappear, the effect on the health and viability of crops and native plant communities can be disastrous. We simply cannot survive without bees.
Pollinators contribute billions to the world economy. The global crop production pollinated by bees is valued at $577 billion. Pollinators contribute $24 billion to the U.S. agriculture industry, making up a third of the food consumed by Americans.
Did you know there is Saving America's Pollinators Act? The best way to protect bees is to reduce the use of toxic pesticides-and support non-toxic management of our environment. This bill brings us closer to doing that.
Tell your Representatives to support this bee-saving bill!