- - Thursday, July 19, 2018

“Earth Talk: How can the public monitor pesticide levels?” (Web, July 10) highlighted the dangers to bees of the overuse of pesticides. Too often we are ignorant on the fragility of bee colonies and how our pesticide use affects them.

Last winter beekeepers lost 30 percent of their bee colonies. That’s twice the sustainable rate. A big reason for this loss is human overuse of pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids. These chemicals are addictive and attack the nervous systems of bees. Various governments, including the European Union and the state governments of Maryland and California, have acknowledged the danger of neonicotinoids and banned their use and sale accordingly.

The health of bee colonies affects all of us. Without bees, we lose foods that we take for granted in everyday life, including fruits, beans and coffee.

To ensure future generations can enjoy the same foods we enjoy today, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser should ban the sale and use of neonicotinoids here in Washington and set an example for the nation to follow.



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