December 7, 2018
An Outreach Plan for the Protection of Honey Bees
Pesticides are a chemical substance that is used to kill or repel certain types of pests and insects that are harmful to plants and animals. Although the use of pesticides has its benefits, many studies have come into light showing the adverse effects it has on all forms of life; specifically, the Honeys bees. According to the USDA, the United states had 2.67 million colonies producing honey in 2017 which was 4% less than the colonies we had in 2016 (USDA, 2018). There are varying factors to the decline in Honey Bees but one of the main causes are the harmful chemicals used in pesticides.
In order to implement a proper outreach plan, it is important to take into consideration the possible ways this plan can be made. One can look at a top down approach in which we would be focusing on marketing the plan starting with government politicians or through a bottom down approach, which would involve starting with community members and general society. For this paper, I will be focusing on the latter and how we can successfully market our outreach plan through community efforts. My focus area will be developing an outreach plan that can be presented and understood by people of all backgrounds. The goal will be to present a plan that will help people know the severity of the Honey Bees population decline, the consequences it will have on agriculture, and what people can do to help stop the decline.
The first step of the plan would be to define the goals of our Outreach plan which is to increase the understanding of the Honey Bee population decline and how this will affect not only people, but the animals and environment. The next step in this would be to find our target audience and develop specific plans in how to get them involved. Beginning with the general society, the hardest task in our plan would be to educate and raise awareness in the community about the harms of certain toxic pesticides and the benefits of Honey Bees with regards to the environment. There are many ways to spread this information but with the rise of technology, the use of social media would be the most efficient way in spreading the message. In the United states alone, 88% of 18 – 29 year olds use the social media and nearly half of all adults get their news from social media platforms (PEW, 2018). This is important since it is in our advantage to help bring awareness to the youth to ensure future generations understand the consequences of pesticides while also being able to to spread the message to as many people as possible. Other possible ways would be to create workshops and information sessions in communities, schools, and environmental interest groups such as the UC Master gardeners program to help bring the issue to light. Another method that community members can partake in which would be a direct approach to solving the problem would be to encourage others with backyards to develop bee friendly foliage in their gardens. These areas can add up and provide potential pollination points for the bees. The points and methods brought up help create a foundation in the community for understanding the problems with pesticides and its effects on Honey bee which will help increase the movement and allow for the creation of local organization fighting for the cause.
Once the outreach plan has gathered enough supporters and backers, it would be time use this our advantage and start bringing the message to the companies and large farm holders who are responsible for the most use of pesticides. To stop the corporations from using these harmful pesticides in order to save and maximize profit, the communities can begin to boycott them and stop using their products until they have begun using safer and alternative pesticides. At the end of the day, these companies rely on the people to make their profits and it would be in their best interest to accommodate to the demands to ensure they don't lose any more profits than they have to. The problem with going about this tactic is that it all really comes down to how far people are willing to go to help the Honey Bees. In the short run, boycott these companies can lead to price surges which will hurt the communities living in them. Many will have a hard time with adjusting to this and would continue to use the product that is cheaper rather than the product that is made using harmful pesticides. But to curb this, it is important to convey the message that even though things seem well now, in the long run, these pesticide effects will begin to show and it may lead to a global catastrophe as the food supply begin to dwindle.
Educating businesses and large farm holders about the effects of pesticides on Honey Bee may not be effective since they mostly rely on government officials on how to regulate their businesses. This is where the next step would start in bringing the issue nationwide. With the newly developed organizations created by the communities, they can begin cooperating with other environmental organizations to start urging our local officials to begin implementing plans to stop the use of pesticides. Many of the corporation using pesticides lobby government officials to enact laws that would be beneficial to them. With a growing collaborative effort, we would have to bring these issues straight to the officials and educate them on the possible repercussions in order to save the future generation catastrophe. Not enough is being done to stop this, so to start bringing attention to it, organizations can plan protests against official and businesses who do not want to address the problems and bring the issue to the news which would also lead to more active support.
Once officials understand the repercussion of pesticides and how they cause Sudden Colony Collapse, only then will we see great change for the world. The effects of Honey bees not only concern humans, but also animals and the environment we live in. With this approach to an outreach program, the results may take some time to be effective but it is absolutely necessary in order to protect everyone. Starting from general populace, much change can be done and does not require government officials to bring this issue to the population. A plan such as this require the efforts all involved, and as long the message continues to spread, only then will there be change.
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