Pollinators play an essential role in the nation’s food supply chain. We are dependent on bees, flies, moths and other insects to help pollinate crops. However, some of these insects – bees in particular -are also known to pose health and safety risks to the public. In fact, stinging insects send an estimated 500,000 people to the hospital every year. They are the leading cause of anaphylaxis-related deaths in the United States. In light of this, bees are – and some government entities have deemed them – a public safety hazard.
So how do we, the American public, protect our families and our children, from these insects that are both vital and potentially harmful? The answer is carefully. The federal government, farmers, the professional pest management industry, and home and business owners must cooperate together to ensure effective tools are available to keep the public safe from stinging insects, yet do so in a manner that will enable pollinators to thrive in appropriate settings.
The National Pest Management Association is working with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), state regulators, and other stakeholders equally committed to ensuring an appropriate symbiotic relationship exists between the safety of the American public and the essential role bees play in agriculture.