The Obama administration is hoping to reverse the rapidly declining populations of honeybees and monarch butterflies in the US by providing them with better nourishment. The federal plan will preserve seven million acres of habitat for bees, monarch butterflies and other insects, making the federal land more bee-friendly. The move is intended to bolster the population of pollinators that are essential to America's food crops, support research, and investigate the widespread cutback of pesticide use as part of a wide-ranging strategy.
Honeybees are dying en masse all over the globe, and it's not just lovers of honey that should be concerned. These mass deaths will change our dinner plates forever, not to mention raise the cost of eating generally. In a world where food security and hunger are crucially important, this is bad news for everyone.
For bees jonesing for their next fix, fate could be a little messy with their newest addictions. In a new study published this week in the journal Nature, researchers conducted experiments to find out just how new pesticides are affecting bee foraging behavior. And what they found is that humans aren’t the only ones addicted to small bits of nicotine—bees crave it too.