White House Gets on Board to Save the Bees

posted: 05/19/15
by: Danny Clemens
Close up of a bee
Gabriele Maltinti/Thinkstock

The White House today announced a plan to reverse the alarming decline in honey bee and monarch butterfly populations. The National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators was released by an inter-agency task force established by President Obama in June of last year.

Over the next five years, the task force will oversee the restoration of over 7 million acres of land for pollinators. The plan also calls for measures to boost butterfly and bee population and reduce colony losses. Over $80 million in federal funding will be allocated to the effort in 2016 alone.

The plan also underscores the importance of public outreach in establishing a long-term conservation effort. Through pollinator education programs targeted toward children, a beekeeper outreach program, a Smithsonian Institute exhibition and a public awareness campaign for National Pollinator Week, the task force hopes to establish a "multifaceted portfolio of public education".

"People of all ages and communities across the country can play a role in responding to the President's call to action. You can share some land with pollinators--bees, butterflies, other insects, birds, bats--by planting a pollinator garden or setting aside some natural habitat. You can think carefully before applying any pesticides and always follow the label instructions. You can find out more about the pollinator species that live near you," remarked John P. Holdren, of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Bees and other pollinators play an integral role in the agriculture; their economic value is estimated to exceed $15 billion annually.

Learn more about pollinators:

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