h/t Lars Larson.
WaEx: The myth about endangered, disappearing honeybees lives on — with potentially dire implications. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, just reintroduced “Save the Bees” legislation that would eliminate farmers’ most advanced and effective defenses against crop-destroying pests in the name of preventing imaginary bee declines and preserving food security, which the bill would actually undermine.
According to Blumenauer’s press release, “The United States lost an estimated one-third of its honeybee colonies between 2016 and 2018.” This sounds scary, except the Department of Agriculture data says otherwise: There were 2,780,000 honeybee colonies in 2016, compared to 2,828,000 in 2018. The bee pollination business is booming, and U.S. agriculture has never been more productive.
As is often the case in Washington, this legislation would do the opposite of what it claims: It would kill America’s long-standing technological dominance in agriculture, raise the cost of food, and actually harm bees and other pollinators. That’s because the measure’s ban on neonicotinoids and other innovative insecticides would force farmers to use older pesticides, including “organic” ones that are known to be harmful to bees. Unlike neonicotinoids, these older, inferior chemicals have to be sprayed on fields, rather than applied as seed treatments, and they must be used in much greater quantities because many pests have developed resistance to them. more here