EPA restores broad use of pesticide opposed by beekeepers

The Trump administration is allowing expanded use of pesticides known to kill pollinating honey bees, while at the same time it's suspending an annual federal study designed to assess what's happening to bee colonies. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

If you haven’t heard already, the bees are dying off at an alarming rate in Missouri and all over the world. According to the Obama White House, beekeepers have reported an annual loss of about 30% of honey bees. This is a massive problem since bees are responsible for pollinating most of the crops responsible for our food supplies. If we lose bees, we lose everything from strawberries to the alfalfa we feed our dairy cows.

One of the main causes of this concerning loss is the use of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which the International Union for the Conservation of Nature says are 6,000 times more toxic to pollinators than the insecticide DDT. The use of these chemicals in our state has risen over 22,000% since 2004.

We need to take immediate action to protect bees and our food supply. Banning the use of neonicotinoids in Missouri would be a great first step. Call your state representative and urge them to protect our future and food supply by banning the use of these dangerous pesticides.

Benjamin Whittington • St. Louis