White House releases plan to restore bee, monarch population

May 20, 2015 -  By

In an effort to restore the diminishing honeybee and monarch butterfly population, a White House task force released its National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators on May 19. The plan calls for the expansion of bee and monarch habitats and increased research into the effects of disease and pesticides on bees.

The initiative will work to achieve the following over-arching goals, according to reports by the New York Times and NPR:

  • Reduce honey-bee colony losses during winter to no more than 15 percent by 2025;
  • Increase the Eastern population of the monarch butterfly to 225 million butterflies by 2020;
  • Add or restore 7 million acres of land for pollinators by 2020 by adding wildflower habitat in the central U.S., where a large population of honeybee colonies and monarchs spend much of the year; and
  • An EPA re-evaluation of neonicotinoid insecticides.

 

The task force was created by the Obama administration after studies found winter losses of commercial honeybee colonies have averaged roughly 30 percent, according to the Washington Post, and monarch populations dropping by as much as 90 percent over the last decade, according to the New York Times.