Obama Creates Pollinator Health Task Force To Save Economy and Food Supply


Image courtesy of SweetCrisis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

U.S. President Barack Obama has signed an executive order that will create the “Pollinator Health Task Force, which will investigate the serious drop in population of pollinators such as the honey bee.

Honey bees and other pollinators are often viewed as a pest, but the reality about them is that they are essential to the economic machinery, sustaining both the American economy and food supply.

The pollination of the honey bee gives over $15 billion in value to the nation’s agricultural crops. The President is concerned that the loss of honey bee colonies will endanger the economic stability of commercial pollination and beekeeping operations. And, over time, have a negative effect on food and agriculture.

Insect pollination is a very important part to the U.S. food security. Honey bees allow for the production of approximately 90 commercially grown groups in the North American continent.  Of the 115 food groups looked at, 87 of them depend on animal pollinators and contribute to about 35 percent of worldwide food production.

Pollinators give back to the economy over $24 billion, of which $15 billion dollars is the result of honey bee pollination. They help to keep fruits, vegetables and nuts in the human diet.  The native wild pollinators like alfalfa leafcutter bees and bumble bees, contribute greatly to the domestic economy, bringing in close to $9 billion.

The United States, the amount of managed honey bee colonies have dropped in the last 60 years – from six million to 2.5 million. Due to the extreme dependence for pollination, the number of decreased honey bee populations is a real problem for domestic agriculture.

With a drop in pollinators – native bees, honey bees, butterflies, bats and birds – Obama is looking for ways to lessen the damage for farmers, environmentalists, producers and consumers to save the bees as well as the American food supply.

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Posted by on Jun 22 2014. Filed under Featured, New, Sci/Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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