CABA was recently contacted by the Pollinator Partnership, headquartered in San Francisco, and asked to join thousands of scientists, academics, professional and hobbyist beekeepers and concerned citizens across the country, in calling for congress to pass the Highways Bettering the Economy and the Environment Act otherwise known as the Highway BEE Act.
The purpose of the legislation is to encourage state and local governments to save energy and budget monies by not mowing median strips along highways. Instead, the initiative calls for planting of indigenous flora and fauna to help beautify roadways and save money through reduced maintenance costs. More importantly, the Act seeks to address the decline of pollinators generally–including honeybees–by setting aside these roadway areas for the cultivation of natural habitat. Some studies show the problem of CCD, for example, can, in many instances, be linked to the loss of pollinators natural habitat due to industry and urban expansion.
An undeniable consequence of declining pollinator numbers is a marked reduction in yield per acre over the past few years. Growers are forced to employ the use of chemicals and growth promoters in order to achieve acceptable crop yields. Of course this is only a band-aid treatment that doesn’t address the root problem, namely disappearing habitat and over use of herbicides and pesticides. By growing flowering plants along the nations highways it is hoped the population of pollinators can be coaxed upward. Only time will tell.
You can read the Highway BEE Act here. (PDF document)