Letter: Support Pollinator Resolution
To the Edtor:
I'm greatly encouraged by the citizens in Williamstown who want to make the community more pollinator friendly. Stephen Dravis' article, "Williamstown Resolution Looks to Change Bee-havior" (iBerkshires April 9) reports how bees are a vital natural resource for food production and biodiversity protection.
Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate, as emphasized by Williams College Biology Department Chair Joan Edwards, who spoke at the town's recent Agricultural Commission meeting. Sharing this concern, a number of other communities launched Western MA Pollinator Networks six months ago to expand pollinator safe habitat through education, tours, and collaboration.
Along with Williamstown voters supporting this non-binding resolution at the May town meeting, all North County residents can help advance pollinator-friendly policies in the state legislature.
An Act to Protect Massachusetts Pollinators (H-2113), filed by state Rep. Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston, advocates common-sense restrictions on neonicotinoid (systemic) pesticides that have been scientifically shown to harm honeybee populations, including contributing to bee colony collapse. This bill now has 135 Democratic and Republican co-sponsors including North County state Rep. Gailanne M. Cariddi.
Though not banning neonics, H-2113 would inform consumers if the plants they buy from retailers have been treated with them. It would also require that only licensed applicators be allowed to apply these pesticides in a residential setting. This is an approach that manufacturers, homeowners and users should be able to live with, if we are serious about stemming the alarming rate of pollinator species decline.
Please contact your legislators, especially Representative Cariddi, chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and thank her for co-sponsoring the bill. Most important is to urge her to hold a hearing on the H-2113 and pass it favorably out of committee as quickly as possible.
With your help, we can stem bee colony collapse, help preserve our local sources of fruits vegetables, and honey as well as protect our environment for future generations.
Western MA Pollinator Networks