USDA and EPA lack methodology to monitor wild bee population

The populations of bees have steadily declined in recent years. | File photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency are conducting research and outreach to protect bee health, but the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) study found the USDA does not have a way to coordinate the monitoring of wild, native bees that are the focus of the White House Pollinator Health Task Force’s May 2015 initiative. 

The EPA is protecting bees from pesticides by creating different labels and personally asking that beekeepers report bee deaths as a result of pesticides.

The populations of bees have steadily declined in recent years, so the USDA and the EPA asked the GAO to review their efforts to protect the bees. It is important to farmers that bees are around because they help to pollinate when farmers otherwise would not be able to do so.

The GAO recommends the USDA combine with other agriculture agencies in order to monitor wild and native bee colonies. In addition, both the EPA and USDA need to inform their staff on conservative conservation efforts.

The EPA is responsible for all mixtures and must ensure that people use pesticides in a conservative manner and report to the EPA what pesticides they are using so the EPA can determine which pesticide is the most common mixture used on crops.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Government Accountability Office 441 G St NW Washington, DC 20548

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20460

Get notified the next time we write about any of these organizations