What do you enjoy most at a picnic? Salad? Pie? Chips and salsa or guacamole? Sandwiches? What if I told you that all of those foods could become a thing of the past because the creatures that make them possible—pollinators—are in crisis? The good news is that you can help.
Without pollinators we'd have no apples, avocados, onions, blueberries, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes (wine!), or watermelon. Basically, any good summer picnic filled with the foods we love would be doomed. Almost a third of what we eat every day relies on pollinators--mostly bees, but also birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, moths, and flies. $1.2 billion of New York State’s agricultural products depend on bees and other pollinators.
But populations of New York State honeybees and other pollinators are crashing at an alarming rate. One of the main causes is neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides used throughout our state that's killing off bees and other pollinators.
Help is on the way through the Birds & Bees Protection Act, a bill before the New York State Legislature that would place a five-year moratorium on the use of neonicotinoids to give the state time to fully study the impacts of their use.
The stakes are high. Honeybees and other pollinators are crucial to New York’s food supply. Bees also pollinate clover and alfalfa—an important feed used by cattle farmers—so this crisis also affects all milk products, yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream as well as the beef we eat. If honeybees vanish, so will a way of life that has held strong for many generations of farmers here in the Catskills and throughout our state.
Please, act today. Tell our legislators that we need them to stand up for the bees and pass the Birds & Bees Protection Act. If we don’t act now to protect bees and other pollinators, our healthy food, our communities and our state's economy, will all suffer serious consequences.