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The Xerces Society has received some cash to study the interplay between pollinators, the plants they need, and farmland.
A group of Seattle gardeners are in the midst of a bee experiment that requires tomato plants and tuning forks. The results could shed light on what a future could look like without bumblebees.
News | Sports | local | OPB News BlogJune 26, 2014 2:13 p.m.
Headlines for Thursday, June 26: Deschutes County is enacting fire restrictions on unprotected land, a new study says gardeners may be exposing pollinators to deadly insecticides and a man who held his breath and crashed his car has plead not guilty.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is eliminating the use of bee-harming pesticides on refuges in the Pacific region. One likely exception? Invasive crazy ants that attack nesting seabirds.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to eliminate the use of bee-harming pesticides on wildlife refuges in the Pacific region by 2016.
A miniaturized Chris gets covered with pollen and ends up sticking to a bee.
Representative Earl Blumenauer champions bicycle and transportation issues — he himself bikes to work and he's often seen wearing a bicycle pin, along with his signature bow-ties. Much of the 3rd district that he represents lies in Portland, in Multnomah and Clackamas counties. He's been a solid supporter of President Obama's health care overhaul, and he continues to advocate for changing the health system, including funding end-of-life care conversations between doctors and patients. He supports renewable energy tax reform, wants to repeal Oregon's constitutional gay marriage ban, and has sponsored legislation in Congress on a range of issues from marijuana taxation to repealing tax breaks for big oil companies. One of the lastest issues he's focusing on now is protecting bees, after some high-profile bee die-offs this summer. Last month, he introduced legislation that would restrict the use of certain pesticides. "Pollinators are not only vital to a sustainable environment," he says, "but key to a stable food supply."
It's well known that bees are dying off, and scientists still can't explain exactly why. Likely causes include parasites, diseases, and pesticides. But in many cases, the bees simply vanish, never to return to the hive. Whatever the causes, the consequences are major. In the U.S., beekeepers on average lost 29% of their honey bee colonies last year. Since farms depend on these commercial bee colonies to pollinate their crops, there's a lot at stake. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that bees are responsible for $15 billion worth of crops every year. To put that in perspective, the USDA says, "about one mouthful in three in the diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination."
Visit a rodeo riding school in Montana and a California farm working to save pollinating honeybees.
By now almost everyone knows our pollinators-and with them, much of our basic food supply-are in serious trouble. But do you know what citizens across our region are doing about it, and how effective their collective efforts are? And how much enjoyment they're getting from gathering with their neighbors to expand and protect bee habitat? Neither did we, until we invited them in for this episode.
Near the top of Oregon's Santiam Pass sits a lone apple tree that has become a landmark for travelers. No one really knows how it got there, but there are many different stories. Oregon Field Guide producer Jule Gilfillan tells us more.