To bee or not to bee: Dems propose pesticide ban to protect pollinators

The bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) would propose a nationwide ban until the EPA studies whether these neonicotinoids are responsible for killing off bees.

"Honey bees have been suffering rapid population losses for over a decade now," Conyers said Tuesday. "Another decade of these mass die-offs will severely threaten our agricultural economy and food supply system.

"It is critical and extremely necessary that we immediately begin to examine the death of honey bees and quickly take action to secure our food supply system."

Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOvernight Finance: House GOP grills IRS chief on impeachment | Bipartisan anger over Iran payment | Fed holds rates steady but hints at coming hike Panel votes to extend nuclear power tax credit DEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion MORE (D-Ore.), a co-sponsor of the bill, said bees play a vital role in agriculture as pollinators, and that Congress must act quickly to protect their population.

"Pollinators are not only vital to a sustainable environment, but key to a stable food supply," Blumenauer said. "When incidents like the alarming mass bee die-off of in Wilsonville, Oregon, occur, it is imperative that we take a step back to make sure we understand all the factors involved and move swiftly to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future."