California Leading Efforts to Protect Bee Species
In 2020, after more than 40 years, the second bumble bee census was taken. Shockingly, many critical species were unable to be found. Concerned scientists claim some species have disappeared entirely from the ecosystem. These findings are not good news for bees, pollinators, and the world’s food sources! More than 75% of the leading 115 crops in the world depend on pollination by an animal!
The new census is a call to urgent action in the community and federally. People are taking an active role in spreading awareness on a broader scale, making the general population aware of how essential bees are to our environment. Recent movements included a milestone ruling by the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), which designated four species of bumblebees as protected species. The American bumblebee and monarch butterfly are currently being considered for the endangered species list.
Causes of Shrinking Bee Populations and Species
Pesticides and land development are almost always the culprits when it comes to any species diminishing in size, and bees are no exception. Although pesticides are widely used to control pests for massive food production and farming, research repeatedly shows the harmful effects of using these pesticides on colony growth, productivity, and species survival. California is proposing a legislature that limits the use of highly toxic pesticides in hopes that pollinators may have some relief from the adverse effects.
Alleviating Harmful Effects on the Environment
California is initiating the most extensive agricultural limits in the nation, requiring limited use of insecticides used to kill aphids. These pesticides are incredibly potent and are proven to harm birds, bees, and other pollinators. Pesticides are undoubtedly a contributor to the declining populations of bees. Because bees pollinate the crops in California, the Department of Pesticide Regulations is targeted to restrict the use of four related neonicotinoid chemicals. The restrictions proposed will include how much may be used, on which crops it may be used, and the presence of honeybees and other pollinators. The specifics are still out for a public vote, and this process will help evaluate feedback from the public, including farmers. Another bill in California’s Legislature that will significantly impact Californians is prohibiting neonicotinoids in yards, around homes, and other outdoor areas, such as golf courses. This bill is set to start in 2024.
Since California is the nation’s number one agricultural state, having solid support and establishing a model here sets the stage for other states in the future. California growers argue that these limitations may hurt their ability to protect the crops, which will ultimately have a worse outcome for the bees and other pollinators. The goal is to find a balance between healthy crops and thriving pollinators – this is much more difficult to achieve than most think.
How Californians Are Impacted
Until these initiatives are adopted and implemented, Californians will not experience much change with the new legislature. Over time, the cost of produce will likely go up to cover the additional cost of alternative pesticides deemed less harmful to pollinators. Beekeepers may experience an increasing number of bees and possibly some new species returning to the areas. California beekeepers look forward to more protection for the bees, and more experienced bee removal companies will be busy relocating hives to safer locations. If a beehive must be moved, hiring a professional bee removal company with experience is essential. Bees are critical to our environment and should be treated with care. A hive should never be carelessly knocked down or sprayed if it is a hazard. Professionals know how to handle this process masterfully, so the threat is removed without bees being harmed.
Local efforts can have a significant impact on keeping the colonies healthy. Purchasing agriculture locally allows farmers to skip using pesticides entirely, which is the best way to enable the ecosystem to work naturally. Supporting local beekeepers is also helpful in keeping the colonies healthy, and local honey is delicious and has health benefits!
If you live in Southern California, contact DTek Bee Company for all your bee questions, needs, and products. Offering years of quality experience, DTek is the most qualified bee company. A reputable bee company should be able to answer questions, help with removal and relocation, and provide helpful information to those considering beekeeping for themselves. Saving the bees is a community effort, and California is starting at the top by proposing measures at the state level. Contact your local legislature and find out what actions are being done that you can be a part of, and help California lead the nation into safe pest control in agriculture and food production!