Max Pixel / CC
That's why a woman in Cape Coral in southwest Florida expressed regret after calling pest control to exterminate thousands of honeybees that swarmed her garage and SUV on Saturday.
<p> "I just wish it could have been different," she told <a href="https://www.news-press.com/story/news/2018/06/25/cape-coral-homeowner-regrets-killing-thousands-honey-bees/731891002/" target="_blank">Fort Myers News-Press</a>. "Bees are valuable. I wish I knew about free bee removal. I wouldn't have made the decision to kill them." </p><p style=""> The homeowner admitted to the publication that she had "no idea what to do" and felt like she needed to act quickly when she made the call to pest control. </p><p> Sure, her action is a real tragedy, but how many of us would know what to do if in the same situation? </p><p>First of all, be assured that while a large swarm of honeybees in your home or car might be frightening, the bugs are generally docile so they likely won't harm you if not provoked. </p><p> Second, and most importantly, you should call a local beekeeper as soon as possible, not the exterminator. Beekeepers are invested in the survival of honeybees and can help remove your swarm without killing them—and they usually do it for little or no money. </p><p> You can contact a nearby beekeeping association or use this <a href="https://beeremovalsource.com/" target="_blank">website</a> to find a beekeeper near you. For instance, a cursory scan of beekeepers near my home in South Carolina <a href="https://beeremovalsource.com/bee-removal-list/south-carolina/" target="_blank">shows dozens</a> of free swarm removal services that will not harm the creatures and will incorporate them into their own apiaries. </p><p> Paul Shannon of Shannon Farms Honey in Buckingham told the Fort Myers News-Press that people should not be afraid of contacting beekeepers day or night. </p><p> "Beekeepers work all day every day," Shannon said. "Definitely contact them; pest control is always just going to exterminate the problem." </p><p> The Florida woman hopes her story will educate others about better options. </p><p> "I'm hoping these bees aren't going to die in vain," she said. </p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-twitter_embed"> <iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1011627339485274113" id="twitter-embed-1011627339485274113" type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1011627339485274113&created_ts=1530025727.0&screen_name=EcoWatch&text=Why+It%E2%80%99s+Time+to+Curb+Widespread+Use+of+Neonicotinoid+Pesticide+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FbTMbSOwQev+%23pesticides+%23bees%E2%80%A6+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2Fmf98PDd0x1&id=1011627339485274113&name=EcoWatch" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="ORH4C41576662743"></iframe> </p>
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20 June 2018Food
Below is a transcript of the video.
<p><a href="https://www.nrdc.org/experts/rebecca-riley" target="_blank">Rebecca Riley</a>, senior attorney, NRDC: </p><p>Right now, we're in a real crisis when it comes to bees.</p><p>Every year, about a third of our honeybee colonies collapse. And the 4,000 native bee species in the United States suffer from those same threats that honeybees do. Those are species like bumblebees and carpenter <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/bees">bees</a> and other really specialized kinds of bees.</p><p>Bees are a really critical part of our food system. One out of every three bites of food we eat, every day, every week, is dependent on bees for pollination. That's a whole different range of foods, from fruits to nuts to vegetables. Things like almonds are heavily dependent on bees for pollination, tomatoes, pumpkins, blueberries.</p><p>And it's not just plants. Small animals, birds depend on the fruits and seeds produced in the wild, and those fruits and seeds are dependent on bees for pollination.</p><p>We think that the bee population crash is caused by several factors, including <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/pesticides">pesticides</a>, habitat loss and disease, and those three factors really work together.</p><p>Neonics are a really serious threat to bees. They're what's called a systemic pesticide, and that means it's in the pollen, it's in the nectar, it's in the leaves, and the plant itself becomes the pesticide.</p><p>Now you can imagine why that's a problem for bees, because bees are visiting these plants, and they're picking up the neonics, and they're bringing them back to the hive.</p><p>One of the most important things we need to do is appropriately regulate neonics. The EU just banned the three most commonly used neonics in Europe. We see Canada taking steps to cut back on neonics, and we haven't done that here in the United States. We've allowed them to be overused throughout the country.</p><p>So EPA really needs to step up and to do its job. States have started to restrict neonics to make sure that we're not overusing these on golf courses, in parks, and in our backyards, and that's a really important next step.</p><p>If we continue to ignore this problem, we will lose bee species in the United States.</p>
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natural resources defense council bees pollinators nrdc food biodiversity wildlife endangered species neonics honeybee pesticides chemicals