How Climate Change Could Affect Your Dinner Plate

By Jason Martin, Stewardship Intern

When most people think about global warming or climate change they think of rising sea levels and temperatures. This gets people’s minds on better A/C units and selling beachfront properties but most don’t think about how rising temperatures could affect their dinner plate. Seventy percent of the commercially grown crops are pollinated by bees. Some crops such as tomatoes, squash, and blueberries depend on a specific species or group of bees to pollinate them. Any change in these relationships could have negative economic consequences for growers.

Natives Do it Better

By Jason Martin, Stewardship Intern

When most of us think about bees we think of a honey bee or bumblebee. While both of these bees are remarkable and important in their own way we also need to give credit to the other 3,998 species of bees in North America.

The honey bee is not native to the United States. It was imported here from Europe around 400 years ago by the first colonists. So, the honey bee, even though it does a great job of pollinating, hasn’t evolved with the native North American crops like the other 3,999 native species have. This co-evolution has led to numerous specialized relationships between native bees and native plants. Believe it or not there are some native plants in America that honey bees cannot or very inefficiently pollinate. Tomato, eggplant, squash, and blueberries are just a few crops that need native bees to pollinate them.

Support the Highways Bee Act

What is the Highways BEE Act?

The Highways Bettering the Economy and Environment Act, H.R. 2381, or Highways BEE Act is a national legislation that was introduced in the House of Representaatives during the National Pollinator Week, on June 23, 2011.  The Highways BEE Act proposes important economic and conservation benefits through integrated vegetation management (IVM) practices on Federal and state highway right-of-ways (ROWs) managed by State Departments of Transportation (DOTs).  There are about 17 million acres of ROW's where the proposed reductions in mowing and maintenance could reduce costs for State Departments of Transportation.  No new monies are requested and the proposed bill is actually designed to save $$$ for states.

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