Why dying bee populations need human attention

Man who helps look after White House apiary discusses “crisis” of bee-colony losses in the context of US initiative.

The US administration has announced plans to promote the wellness of bees and other natural pollinators vital to a healthy environment.

Over the past few years, bees have been dying at a rate the US government says must be addressed.

Bees add more than $15bn to the US economy alone, through their pollination of fruits, vegetables and other crops, according to a 2014 report from the White House.

Worldwide, that number is around $365bn per year.

Losses of managed honey bee colonies hit 42.1 percent from April 2014 through April 2015, up from 34.2 percent for 2013-2014, in the second-highest annual loss to date, the US Department of Agriculture said in a report issued last week.

A new action plan aims to reduce honey-bee-colony losses during the winter months to no more than 15 percent within a decade.

Al Jazeera’s Chris Sheridan interviewed bee-keeper Sean McKenzie, who has helped look after the White House apiary.

McKenzie talked about what he calls the “crisis” of dying bee populations and why humans need to pay attention.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies