ON-Lion Letter

As President Barack Obama's Pollinator Health Task Force is poised to release its National Pollinator Health Strategy this Spring, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in Washington, D.C., cuts through the alarmism and misinformation that is driving the debate about the health of honeybee hives in an April report, "Beepocalypse" Not:  Alarmist Honeybee Claims Collapse Under Scrutiny.  In the report, CEI senior fellow Angela Logomasini shows that potential bans and restrictions on a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids will do more harm than good for honeybees as more toxic chemicals will likely replace neonicotinoids.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appears to already be moving in the wrong direction with its recent decision to limit new uses of neonicotinoids.

"The alarmism over pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, has diverted our attention from the more significant challenges to bee-hive health, such as diseases and nutritional deficiencies among commercially farmed honeybees," Logomasini said.  "As a result, too much focus is placed on regulatory solutions that would restrict access to valuable crop protection products.

"Honeybee health issues can and will be managed largely by beekeepers themselves along with some collaboration with farmers and even home gardeners," she continued.  "But we won’t reach such solutions if we focus on the wrong issues.

"The best solutions will strike a balance that recognizes the value of targeted and managed use of agrochemicals and minimizes any impact on commercially farmed honeybees and wildlife.  Such policies can only be pursued when we dispense with misinformed alarmism and focus on science-based solutions and productive collaboration."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports CEI.

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