Double trouble for bees: Trump administration axes research and greenlights pesticide

Credit: Isaac Inwood

Already in dire straits, honeybees took a couple more hits from the Trump administration. Claiming insufficient funding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will suspend its data collection on how the nation’s honeybee populations are doing, something the agency has been monitoring for decades. The research helps generate accurate scientific assessments for future policy decisions that impact the health of these important pollinators. If that weren’t enough, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also approved broad new uses for the insecticide sulfoxaflor, which the agency itself acknowledges is highly toxic to bees. Meanwhile, a startling 40 percent of honeybee colonies died between the spring of 2017 and spring of 2018. Bees pollinate a staggering $15 billion worth of U.S. crops every year. Makes you wonder how the Trump administration supposes it will pick up the slack.

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