Great news! Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a Proclamation declaring August 15th, 2015 Oregon Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day!
The success of environmental restoration efforts depends on a healthy and diverse population of native pollinators. Pollinators are critical for seed production and the perpetuation of native plants–and our food crops. Bees are our most important pollinators in North America.*
While a great deal of attention has been focused on honeybees for their pivotal role in agriculture, less attention has been given to native bee species, like bumblebees, which are also in decline. In fact, native bumble bees have been facing even more alarming declines across the continent.**
Researchers are finding that bumbles and other native bees are in jeopardy from environmental stresses including habitat loss and pesticides. An estimated 100,000 native bumble bees died from twelve acute neonicotinoid pesticide exposures in Eugene and parts of Portland between 2013 and 2015.
Unlike honey bees living cooperatively in hives with many worker bees, most native bees are solitary. If the mother bumble bee is poisoned and does not return to her nest, all her offspring and future generations perish. The survival of each native bee is essential to ecosystem biodiversity.
- TakePart Pledge Action Campaign: ask your state’s governor to declare Aug. 15th as Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day!Read the official proclamation document from the Governor’s office
- “The Humble Bumble Gets Its Own Day of Gratitude” a blog by Lisa Arkin, Beyond Toxics Exec. Director (Aug. 5, 2015)
- (Read the letter Beyond Toxics sent asking Oregon Governor Kate Brown to take this important step)
- Fun Native Bee Facts (PDF)
- Learn how to cultivate bee-friendly gardens
- Learn more about the overall economic impact of bee decline (Beyond Toxics blog)
- Read the latest research: “Pesticides & pollinator decline” (Pesticide Action Network)
- Field Guide to Willamette Valley Native Bees (PDF)
- For the press: Press Release
“Bumblebees and other native bees” video provided by Beyond Toxics member, Pat Reed (2 min.)
MORE about what you can do to get involved
- TakePart Pledge Action Campaign: ask your state’s governor to declare Aug. 15th as Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day!
Oregon has taken notice of the importance of native and wild bees. Governor Kate Brown has just signed the proclamation we requested of her. Now is the time to get other states to do the same: ask your governor to declare Aug. 15th as Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day!
- Write your representatives in Congress and ask them to support a national proclamation making August 15th “Native Bee Conservation Awareness Day.”
- Find your representative in the US House of representatives (Washington, DC)
- Find your Senators in the US Senate (Washington, DC)
- MODEL language to use in your communication
DID YOU KNOW?
- Bumble bees, carpenter bees, and sweat bees are among the 4,000 kinds of bees native to North America.
- A study published in the April 2006 issue of the journal Bioscience reported that native insects pollinate $3 billion per year in crops in the United States. Bumble bees are some of our most efficient crop pollinators.
Model language (as much as possible please use your own words about why you are concerned and why you think your Congressperson should take action)
Dear Sen. (name)
Dear Rep. (name)
I urge you to support a national proclamation to establish August 15th as Native Bee Conservation Awareness Day. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has just recognized the importance of native bees for our state, now it’s time for the federal government to step in and do it’s part on a national level.
While I am grateful for the attention given to the plight of honeybees, less attention has been given to native bee species, like bumblebees, which are also in decline. In fact, native bumble bees have been facing even more alarming declines across the nation.
Researchers are finding that bumbles and other native bees are in jeopardy from environmental stresses including habitat loss and pesticides. An estimated 100,000 native bumble bees died from seven acute neonicotinoid pesticide exposures in Eugene and Portland between 2013 and 2015.
Please let me know if you support this proposed proclamation and what you intend to do about the decline of native bees.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your reply.
Your name and address
* Read entire article (PDF)
** See “Plight of the Bumble Bee: Conserving Imperiled Native Pollinators” by Matt Miller (March 19, 2014)
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