(CBS4) — On Friday morning, Colorado state legislators, environmental advocates and beekeepers announced the introduction of a bill to protect bees — which they call “our most important pollinators.”
CBS4 reporter Mekialaya White talked with one of the sponsors of the bill, Rep. Sonya Jaquez Lewis (D-Longmont), who says the message is simple — if we don’t have bees, we don’t have food. That’s why she and other state leaders are taking action.
Jaquez Lewis comes from a ranching and farming family — and says the impact of the declining bee population in Colorado has impacted her personally.
When she learned beekeepers are losing on average 30% of honeybee colonies every winter — she was concerned.
She attended a news conference Friday — to promote a bill that advocates say is the first step toward saving bee populations.
The “Protect Pollinators Regulate Neonicotinoids” bill is designed to reduce the use of harmful chemicals — known as neonics. Neonics are used in a lot of insecticides — and sold at home improvement stores — like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Bee advocates say they want them off the shelves.
“It is absolutely proven — we have many studies that show neonics are very toxic — 5,000 to 10,000 times more deadly to bees than DDT. There are municipalities in Colorado that have already banned it — and we have three states that have already done it, other states looking at it — so we know that we’re on the right track,” Rep. Jaquez Lewis stated.
The concern for bee die-off isn’t just local. The European Union has also banned the outdoor use of neonics.
Environment Colorado said it would present thousands of petitions gathered across Colorado in support of this initiative on Friday morning.