The Buzz on Bees

There’s a bill buzzing its way through the General Assembly attempting to ban certain pesticides to protect bees, as Pamela Wood writes in the Sun:

The Senate’s Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee voted Thursday to approve the bill, which would limit the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids to certified applicators, farmers and veterinarians. Starting in 2018, consumers would not be able to buy the pesticides.

The committee removed part of the bill that would require labels on plants and seeds treated with neonicotinoids, according to supporters of the bill, which is known as the Pollinator Protection Act.

It will next be considered by the full Senate.

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Studies have shown that neonicotinoids — also called neonics — contribute to bee mortality as well as declines in other pollinators such as birds and butterflies, according to supporters, who are organized as the Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition.

Bees have a role in pollinating the food supply, including many fruits, vegetables, almonds and coffee, according to advocates.

“The science clearly shows that neonics impair bee immunity, behavior and overall functioning,” April Boulton, director of Hood College’s environmental biology program, said in a statement. “Given that managed bees are our most important pollinators, both economically and ecologically, this deserves our attention now.”

You’ll probably note that the idea of protecting bee colonies is not something among the 1st, 2nd, or 5th tiers of issues that you probably care about. But every so often the beekeeping lobby (that’s actually a thing that exists) will make some noise about bees and beekeeping online to bring about attention to their issue.

Of course, you probably won’t be surprised to find out that the “bee-pocalypse” involves a lot of information that is completely unfounded, as the Washington Post reported on last summer:

As you can see, the number of honeybee colonies has actually risen since 2006, from 2.4 million to 2.7 million in 2014, according to data tracked by the USDA. The 2014 numbers, which came out earlier this year, show that the number of managed colonies — that is, commercial honey-producing bee colonies managed by human beekeepers — is now the highest it’s been in 20 years.

So why all of the hype about protecting bee colonies in Maryland? The same thing that sees activists posing as farmers to try and push through regulations on chicken poop; Democrats are interested in promoting a radical environmental agenda at the cost of jobs and consumers to placate a special interest. No more, and no less.

A ban that passes to fix a problem that doesn’t exist is something where we all feel the sting.

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