Obama Moves to Save the Honey Bees, Targets Pesticides

President Obama on Friday announced plans to save endangered honey bees and other pollinators, for the first time ordering a probe into new types of pesticides that some local governments and 15 European Union nations have restricted or banned.

The long-awaited plan creates a “Pollinator Health Task Force” that has 180 days to come up with a plan to save bees, butterflies and other pollinators. The goal is to rid fields of harmful pesticides while planting food for the bugs, even on military bases an along railroad tracks. Virtually every Cabinet department will be included on the task force.

A key victory for the honey bee industry is Obama’s mention of “neonicotinoids,” a new type of pesticide product that many blame for the shocking loss of bees in the epidemic called “colony collapse disorder.”

In the six-page presidential memo, the White House singled out what it wants the Environmental Protection Agency to do: