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5 Amazing Efforts to Save the Bees

By Kara, selected from TreeHugger
6/11/2013 11:29:14 AM

Many environmental problems can feel overwhelming.

Even if you can inspire action on a local level, to cut carbon emissions for example, the impact of those cuts is usually masked by the juggernaut of "business-as-usual" elsewhere.

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When it comes to bees, however, "thinking local" has the potential to have immediate, tangible results.

Because bees are such a central part of every single ecosystem, regional efforts to protect them can have a direct and visible impact on their numbers. And because pollinators are central to our own well-being, it's a fair bet that such measures will have broader ecological and economic impacts too.

Perhaps that's why regional and local efforts to protect our bees are proliferating.

Here are some of our favorites.

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Europe bans neonicotinoid pesticides

Despite opposition from several member states, including the UK, Europe has voted to implement a 2-year precautionary ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides with flowering crops favored by bees. Whether or not that will be enough to reverse the tide of deaths remains to be seen, but there are reports that previous temporary bans of neonicotinoids in parts of Europe already lead to rebounds in bee numbers. Now we get to test out the theory on a continental scale.

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London promotes beekeeping

Cities haven't traditionally been thought of as strongholds of beekeeping. Yet as industrial monocultures have lead to decreased biodiversity in the country, many bee advocates have suggested that the gardens and parks of the city could provide an ideal alternative. That's why many people rejoiced at the launch of Capital Bee, a $60,000 fund to support community groups interested in beekeeping.

The London Beekeepers Assocation, however, dismissed the idea as yet more "bee bling", suggesting that promoting wildflower plantings and increased forage opportunities should be prioritized over increasing the number of actual colonies. (It has to be said, this always felt like a "both/and", not "either/or" issue to me.)

By Kara, selected from TreeHugger

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