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Denham introduces legislation to protect bees
Bee picture
Orin Johnson examines bee colonies at Johnson Apiaries in Hughson. As part of an effort to protect bees, Rep. Jeff Denham has introduced the Highway BEE Act as a measure to help the health of the pollinators. - photo by Journal file photo

National Pollinator Week may have come to a close on June 21, but Congressman Jeff Denham (R – Turlock) is aiming to highlight the importance of bees all year-round.

Pollinator Week is an initiative spearheaded by the Pollinator Partnership which aims to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Pollinator Week is an outreach method to share the importance of bees and other pollinators to the ecosystem, something which Representative Denham and Representative Alcee Hastings (D –Florida) are well versed in as members of the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus.

On June 11 Denham and Hastings introduced the Highway BEE Act which stands for Highways Bettering the Economy and Environment. Precipitated by the decreasing population of pollinators, the Highway BEE Act will promote planting of pollinator habitats and vegetation along America’s highways.

“The Highways BEE Act will help our pollinators, which are crucial to the strength of our communities and success of our agricultural industry, stay healthy and productive,” said Denham. “Allowing highway and freeway medians to bloom and flower naturally is a simple solution to provide much-needed aid to the birds, bats, bees and butterflies that pollinate our food.”


By using unique elements of landscaping to promote the health of the bee population,  Hastings said the Highway BEE Act is a great start, but there is still work to be done.


“There is much work left to be done in understanding the causes of this crisis and to begin the process of solving the problem – by strengthening pollinator vegetation and habitats along our roadways, this legislation is an important step in achieving that goal,” said Hastings.