Issue Date: May 5, 2014
Lawmakers Examine Causes Of Bee Declines
The top three stressors leading to declines in honeybee populations are lack of food, varroa mites, and pesticides, according to experts who testified at an April 29 congressional hearing of the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology & Foreign Agriculture in the House of Representatives. Republican lawmakers at the hearing questioned the need for legislation, such as H.R. 2692, that would ban neonicotinoid pesticides linked to health effects in bees. Representatives from the pesticide and agriculture industries advocated for more communication and coordination between growers and beekeepers so that pesticides are not sprayed when bees are foraging. Lawmakers opposed to H.R. 2692 pointed out that several provisions in the recently passed farm bill also address the decline in pollinator health. Experts at the hearing also called for more research to identify genetic traits in bees that confer resistance to varroa mites.
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