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Rick Worthington Birds and Bees
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: September 28, 2017

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As we enjoy the late-summer crops produced in this country, advocates are hoping everyone will take time to appreciate the little creatures that pollinated them.

About three-quarters of the more than 240,000 species of the world's flowering plants rely on pollinators, which include bees, birds, bats and other animals.

Tiffany Finck-Haynes, with Friends of the Earth, says not only should pollinators be acknowledged for the role they play in agriculture, but the peril they're in.

"Bees are responsible for one in every three bites of food we eat, and they're also an indicator species, so if bees and other pollinators are declining at such an alarming rate, it's telling us that there's something more serious going on in our environment and we're seeing wider-spread contamination that's going to create a problem for us."

Bee decline is being blamed on habitat loss, parasites and pesticide use.

Finck-Haynes applauds states for taking steps to protect pollinators. She adds that seeds pre-treated with pesticides are use

"If states were to work to reduce their use as a seed application and then just generally in agriculture, and work with farmers to employ alternative pest-management strategies that are better for the environment, it would go a long way in helping to really protect pollinators."

Finck-Haynes says businesses, cities, universities, garden retailers and homeowners around the country have committed to using pollinator-friendly plants and seeds, but she feels there's been a lack of action by the federal government to protect the birds and the bees.

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