State Pollinator Plans

Pollinator News                           April 3, 2015

State Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3)

Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3) are being developed across the U.S.  The EPA has been working with the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO) to develop a guidance document for states as they develop their MP3s. The Pollinator Stewardship Council has a number of the MP3s on our website for your information and review.  We have also created a chart listing state efforts to date concerning pollinator plans.  You can compare and contrast each state, review what your state has or has not accomplished, and who to contact to start the process or be a part of the process in your state.  As the stakeholders most affected by these plans, beekeepers must be involved.

We can protect crops AND protect pollinators.  We can protect human health AND protect pollinators. While MP3 plans have been focused upon pollinators in agriculture, beekeepers working on these state plans must also be cognizant of the exposure of honey bees and native pollinators to urban and suburban applications of pesticides for mosquito control, and pesticides used on lawns and backyard gardens.  Beekeepers need to be involved in their local mosquito control boards to ensure honey bees are protected to pollinate backyard gardens, community gardens, and our city parks.

Some of the initial pollinator protection plans did not differentiate between managed and native pollinators.  The plans sought to protect all pollinators. Research tells us native pollinators deserve protection as they too contribute to increased crop yields, and support the diversity of a healthy ecosystem.  Our 4000 native pollinators are a national treasure deserving protection with managed honey bees.  Economic research concerning native pollinators found “California agriculture reaps $937 million to $2.4 billion per year in economic value from wild, free-living bee species . . .About one-third of the value of California agriculture comes from pollinator-dependent crops, representing a net value of $11.7 billion per year . . .” The study estimated “wild pollinators residing in California’s natural habitats, chiefly rangelands, provide 35-39 percent, or more than one-third, of all pollination “services” to the state’s crops.”

According to Dr. Nick Calderone of Cornell University, “The total value of commodities that require pollination was about $81.5 billion in 2010. Honey bees were responsible for $19 billion (23%) and other insects (mostly leaf cutting bees) accounted for another $9.8 billion (12%).”  Researcher Krishna Ramanujan reported in the Cornell Chronicle that “honeybees pollinated $12.4 billion worth of directly dependent crops and $6.8 billion worth of indirectly dependent crops in 2010.  Other insects, including alfalfa leaf cutter bees, bumblebees, horn-faced bees and orchard bees, added $4 billion and $5.9 billion in directly and indirectly dependent crops, respectively.”

The Food and Agriculture Organization noted the value of pollinator diversity, stating “More than 90% of wild flowers rely upon pollinators for their reproduction (Costanza et al. 1997).  Floral diversity is strongly associated with pollinator diversity (Potts et al. 2003a).  Pollinators are key elements in food webs; wild flowers provide food for many animals in the form of vegetation, fruit, berries and nuts.  Adequate pollination is therefore essential to ensure the survival of animals and birds which feed upon these wild plants.”

Even though honey bees are “immigrants” to the New World, research shows they, and the native pollinators, actually make each other better pollinators.  Sarah Greenleaf of UC Berkeley found wild bees make honey bees better pollinators.  “When honey bees interact with wild native bees, they are up to five times more efficient in pollinating sunflowers than when native bees are not present . . . In fields where wild bees were rare, a single visit by a honey bee produced an average of three seeds.  But as wild bee numbers increased, so did the number of seeds produced per honey bee visit, up to an average of 15 seeds per visit.  This was the case when either the richness of the species mix of wild bees increased, or when the absolute number of wild bees increased.”  

As State Pollinator Protection Plans are developed we can protect native pollinators as well.  The mitigation efforts to protect managed pollinators will protect native pollinators.  

As stakeholders come together, the following should be part of the plan to protect managed and native pollinators:

•    extended residual toxicity and/or systemic pesticides should not be applied to pollinator attractive crops or weeds in bloom
•    when applying pesticides during bloom use short residual toxicity products and apply at night
•    Commercial beekeepers should be permitted access to pesticide-free pollinator forage on public lands (or on lands receiving short residual toxicity pesticides applied at night)
•    moving or covering hives so pesticides can be applied is not a reasonable mitigation strategy (except in rare circumstances)
•    IPM practices need to be followed according to those best management practices
•    mitigation efforts to control for mosquitoes can protect human health and pollinators through night applications and use of short residual toxicity products
•    mosquito control products should be applied at night when mosquitos are most active, and pollinators are not.  Even though the federal pesticide label allows for exceptions to application guidelines for public health, pollinators and human health can be protected through night applications of short residual toxicity products.
•    the Federal Pesticide Label shall be followed regardless of the mitigation measures included in a State MP3 Plan.

Understanding the label language and uses on crops under pollination services, and crover 800k acresops NOT under pollination services is important.  Pollinators still need to be protected in all situations.  The managed pollinators working one crop must be protected so they are healthy to pollinate the next crop.  Growers of almonds who protect the hives they rent, support healthy robust honey bee colonies. These hives then will be available for many other crops dependent upon pollination service after almonds: rops such as cherries, apples, blueberries, stone fruits, cucurbits, and alfalfa seed. Even if a crop does not need pollinated, the application of pesticides in neighboring fields, and in ditches and roadways affects the honey bees pollinating the adjacent crops.

The new EPA neonic label features the new “bee icon” at the beginning of the label. It is to be pictuepa label beered next to the “directions for use” on each specific crop that is under contract for pollination, for the protection of the label to apply. (EPA can always revise label guidelines and interpretations.  The pesticide label however, is the law with no exceptions.)

The chart Pollinator Stewardship Council created comparing and contrasting state plans is a valuable tool for every state.  The chart contains the proposed solutions, best management practices, and in one case, the Oregon report, just the “consensus” recommendations.   To review the recommendations that received a “split opinion” and “general agreement” from the Oregon Task Force, read the Oregon Task Force’s Report . The work groups provide insight as to the level of thought and value placed upon pollinators.  The state workgroup which analyzed the number of managed colonies needed to pollinate their crops brought to the forefront the fact the state does not support enough managed colonies to pollinate its own crops.  The concerns of migrating honey bee colonies which may introduce pests and pathogens into a state needs addressed and understood.   Managed colonies from other states are needed to pollinate crops due to low support for local honey bees, and loss of forage to support local and native pollinators.  

To encourage beekeeping, and to support local beekeepers, states need to have apiary inspection programs, and well-staffed apiary programs.  States need to support home-grown beekeepers who could provide increased in-state pollination services.   States need to be fair, and support inter-state commerce of commercial beekeepers, and the pollination services they provide to other states by not adding fees for them differently than in-state beekeepers.  Trying to place all of the financial burden of paying for state apiary programs on migrating beekeepers is unequal; it does not promote healthy beekeeping within the state by local beekeepers.  

tank mix bee kill for newslistPollination affects all of us: the beekeeper,  farmer,  food wholesaler, food retailer, and food consumer.  We must all work together to develop reasonable, agreeable, fair State Pollinator Protection Plans.  Beekeepers alone should not bear all of the burden of moving their bees away from pesticides, and a crop in need of pollination, trying to find pesticide-free bee forage to provide high-quality nutrition for their bees, paying for lab testing of bees allegedly harmed by pesticides.  Nor should beekeepers be responsible for educating others as to the toxicity of pesticide products to bees (the federal pesticide label contains that information).  

The MP3 plans already completed are a good place for other states to begin the research for their own plan.  One state recommended “rewarding” an agricultural stakeholder for not damaging another’s livestock/crop.  Beekeeping and crop pollination is what increases crop yield.  A “reward” is not given to the cattle rancher because he did not shoot his neighbor’s sheep.  The corn grower is not “rewarded” because he did not chop down his neighbor’s orchard.  One agricultural stakeholder should not be paid to protect another’s crop or livestock, or the water supply.  The “reward” for keeping bees alive and healthy is crop yield.   Suggesting a beekeeper monetarily reward a grower for not killing the beekeeper’s livestock, and damaging their honey crop, further points out all of the responsibility of pesticide related bee kills has been placed upon the beekeeper.  Managed Pollinator Protection Plans are an opportunity for all agricultural stakeholders to understand each others needs.
 
Beekeepers need to keep their bees healthy from crop to crop, from winter to spring.  Beekeepers need to keep queen bees healthy, strong, fertile, and surviving from crop to crop, from winter to spring.

Farmers need their vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seed crops pollinated in order to have a profitable harvest.  Farmers need to protect their crops from 5% of the insects that are harmful to crops and humans.
Cities need to protect their citizens and animals from mosquito-borne diseases. And beekeepers have a need to protect their honey bees from bee toxic pesticides—including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, adjuvants, surfactants, and the “inert ingredients” in pesticide products.  A need, however, is not a strategy.   A need, however, is not an action

 “For fruit or nut bearing crops, pollination can be a grower’s last chance to increase yield.  All post pollination inputs, whether growth regulators, herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides, are generally designed not to increase yield but to conserve losses.”   “Pollinator: a grower’s last chance to increase yields,” The Univ. of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

We can protect crops AND protect pollinators.  We can protect human health AND protect pollinators.

Research validates pollination:
•    stimulates germination of pollen
•    increases viability of seeds, embryos, plants
•    creates more nutritive and aromatic fruits
•    stimulates faster growth of plants
•    increases number and sizes of seeds and crop yields
•    increases nectar production in nectaries
•    increases fruit set and reduces fruit drop
•    enhances resistance to diseases and other adverse climatic changes
•    increase oil content in oil seed crops

States can learn from the process of developing MP3s in other states.  However, states should not just adopt another state’s MP3.  The climate, precipitation, soil, geography, and crops in Mississippi are not the same as in Maine.  To adopt another states’ MP3 is to ignore this opportunity for all of the agricultural stakeholders to come together for the benefit of increased crop yield, the benefit of all stakeholders to grow and maintain healthy, productive livestock (honey bees, and mammals as honey bees pollinate food for the mammals), and productive crops (plants and honey).   

The Managed Pollinator Protection Plans should include protection of pollinators in our urban and suburban landscapes as well.  Backyard gardens, lawns, and the community receive pesticide applications affecting the backyard beekeeper, native pollinators, and the health and sustainability of community gardens, city parks, and the landscapes that add to the overall quality of life in our communities. Mosquito Control Programs must be a part of the MP3s.  Mosquito control programs have resulted in numerous bee kills.  Done correctly human health and pollinators can be protected.  Using IPM for mosquitoes, trapping mosquitoes to determine if they are carrying disease, and if so applying a short/low residual toxicity product at NIGHT will protect pollinators.  Using IPM and other mitigation for mosquito control such as mowing tall weeds (although those weeds may well be forage for pollinators, so mow after the bloom), draining standing water, or the other myriad of actions taken to alleviate mosquito habitat will help control mosquitoes.  

westnilevirushouse from www.co.jackson.ms.us
                          graphic from www.vdh.state.va.us

We will not starve if pesticide use is reduced.  Crops will not be decimated if a true IPM program is followed, where only one ninth of the crop management involves chemical applications.  Fear is not a need, nor is it an action.  Productive strategies do not develop out of fear.  We can protect our crops and protect our bees.  We can protect public health from mosquito borne diseases and protect our bees.    We must be united for our honey bees and native pollinators.  No matter your beekeeping management style—chemical treatments in the hive, or no chemical treatments; whether you have Russian or Italian Bees; whether you are a commercial, side-liner, or backyard beekeeper; we must be united in the belief we have a right to keep managed honey bees, we have a right to keep them healthy with pesticide free forage, plenty of diverse forage, and to protect them from undue pesticide exposure.

While it would be easier for the Environmental Protection Agency to compile one MP3 plan for the entire country, it is unrealistic. States need to bring together all of the stakeholders and create a Plan that reflects their state, their crops, their apiary programs and apiary research.  The MP3 planning process is an opportunity to evaluate the state apiary program, especially if the state does not have one.  Do the apiary fees pay for bee inspectors, and lab testing of bees for pest, pathogens, AND pesticides? Do apiary fees fund the bee inspectors sufficiently providing them with the most basic of equipment: rubber gloves, rubbing alcohol, bee veil, and a hive tool?  

The MP3 planning process is an opportunity for each stakeholder to learn from each other; to realize without pollination there is no crop yield: be it wind, rain, self-pollination, or insect pollination.  Facilitators of the MP3 planning meetings must be willing and capable to bring the stakeholders together, to listen to all the needs of the stakeholders, and to guide the stakeholders into developing actions which will result in a strategy where the MP3s are truly Managed Pollinator PROTECTION Plans.

Research shows the value of pollination to all stakeholders

Pollinators can also enhance the quality and quantity of seeds and fruits of self-fertile crops.
A high diversity of pollinating bees can lead to a significantly higher fruit set.

Pollination increases the seed yield in:
•    sunflower 79%
•    mustard 55%
•    safflower 64%
•    cotton 18%

With open pollination mean yield increased in
•    strawberry 20%
•    oilseed rape  20%
•    field bean 40%
•    buckwheat 71%    

The value of wild pollinators
crop        yield increase from wild pollinators
squash        81%
tomatoes    18%
blueberries    10%
bell peppers    10%
watermelons    10%
peaches    9%
apples        9%
cucumbers    9%
cantaloupes    8%
soybeans    5%

Soybean production with honey bees
•    seed production was 57% higher
•    pod number was 61% higher

Pollinators near cotton with nearby natural vegetation saw:
•    Bee species richness    57% higher per Kg/ha
•    fibre fraction    1.95% higher per Kg/ha
•    seed number    17.77% higher per Kg/ha
•    seed yield    18.44% higher per Kg/ha

Avocado -fruit yield increase with honey bees 350%; fruit weight increase with honey bees 18%.

Blueberries  in New Jersey can see an increase in gross revenues of $112 per acre if one acre of vacant land is available to native pollinators.  When blueberries were pollinated by more than one species of bees there was an increase of $311 worth of yield per acre in North Carolina.  Of the honey bees, bumble bees, southeastern blueberry bees, carpenter bees, and small native bees North Carolina State Univ. calculates the “benefit of each group (of bee) to be approximately $1.42 million worth of yield each year.”

A honeybee hive working a hectare of cucumbers can yield 3 times more fruits than plots without bees.  Each individual fruit is also heavier.

Pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins.

Cotton yield indicators declined with increasing distance from bee sources . . . the study showed a “significant positive impact of supplemental honeybees on cotton yield.”

Onion seed yield increased 41.2% due to  eight different pollinators; germination increased by 68% due to pollination.  Lack of pollination due to insecticide use affects onion see yields

In Florida’s agriculture honey bees increase yields 20-60%.

 

Research credits:
“Managed honeybees increase onion seed yield and quality,” http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd26/1/gebr26008.htm

“Lack of pollination due to insecticide use affects onion see yields,” http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=5688

“Dept. of Agriculture and Food- bee pollination benefits for avocados,”  bulletin 4298, http//:archive.agric.wa.gov.au/PC_91826.html

Pollination and Plant Resources Change the Nutritional Quality of Almonds for Human Health
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0090082

Pollinator-Friendly Farming  http://njsustainingfarms.rutgers.edu/dontkill.html

Increasing cropping system diversity balances productivity, profitability, and environmental health     http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0047149

Impact of honey bee pollination activities on Bt cotton production in northern Alabama
http://www.alabees.com/impact_of_honey_bee_pollination_.htm

Importance of bee pollination for cotton production in conventional and organic farms in Brazil  

Improved pollination will improve yields: Some history to back this up
http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/joe-traynor/improved-pollination-will-improve-yields-some-history-to-back-this-up/

Pollination of soybean by Honey bees
http://www.scielo.br/pdf/babt/v48n1/a05v48n1

Pollinator decline: US Agro-Socio-Economic impacts and responses
http://www.asciencejournal.net/asj/index.php/NES/article/view/430

Pollination: a grower’s last chance to increase yields
http://interests.caes.uga.edu/insectlab/agimpact.html

Enhancing seed production of three brassica vegetables by honey bee pollination in north-western Himalayas of India
http://www.hrpub.org/download/201310/ujar.2013.010301.pdf

Honey bees and blueberry pollination
http://umaine.edu/blueberries/factsheets/bees/629-honey-bees-and-blueberry-pollination/

Managing for higher yields
http://www.agriculturesnetwork.org/magazines/global/28-1-insects/managing-for-higher-yields

Organic farming improves pollination success in strawberries
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0031599

Contribution of pollinator-mediated crops to nutrients in the human food supply
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0021363

Wild pollinator habitat benefits agriculture
http://blog.nature.org/science/2013/08/06/wild-pollinator-habitat-benefits-agriculture/

Contribution of insect pollinators to crop yield and quality varies with agricultural intensification
https://peerj.com/preprints/184v1.pdf

More species of bees pollinate crops, making blueberry farms see increased yield
http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/7186/20140509/more-species-bees-pollinate-crops-making-blueberry.htm

Insect pollinators contribute $29 billion to US farm income, Krishna Ramanujan, May 22, 2012, Cornell Chronicle

Wild bees make honey bees better pollinators, Liese Greensfelder, UC Berkeley news release (Study author was Sarah Greenleaf, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences issue on Sept. 12, 2006 an EPA funded study), www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2006/08/28_honeybees  

Wild Pollinators worth up to $2.4 billion to farmers, Ann Brody Guy, College of Natural Resources at Berkeley, 6-20-2011www.newscenter.berkeley.edu/2011/06/20/wild-pollinators-worth-billions-to-farmers

“Climate- Smart” Agriculture,” Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 2010

Society for Range Management-Pollinators in Rangelandhttp://www.srmjournals.org/toc/rala/33/3

USGS- The Buzz on Native Bees  http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/the-buzz-on-native-bees/

 

Get your passport

Need a Speaker?

The Pollinator Stewardship Council is available to speak to your local beekeeping club, State Beekeeping Association Conference, and Beekeeping School.  We gave 12 presentations in 2013, and 29 presentations in 2014, and already have 15 presentations scheduled for this year.   Presentations are 40-60 minutes in length, providing valuable information about pollinator health, the work of the Pollinator Stewardship Council, and collaborative projects.  Schedule us today to talk to your group!

Choose from one of the following eight topics:

“Pollinator Stewardship Council Collaborations: Education, Advocacy, Action”  
Participants will learn how we collaborate with local groups, how we turn advocacy and education into action at the individual level, understanding the bee kill reporting process, increased awareness of pesticide labels, and the value of pollination to crop yields.

“Migratory beekeeping: why keeping them alive is so difficult.”
This presentation explores exposure routes and effects of pesticides upon pollinators, the value of pollination by managed and native pollinators to crop yields, why and how to report bee kills, and how to communicate with the grower or pesticide applicator to protect your bees.some pesticide exposure hives

 

“Pesticides wintering in your hives”
Participant will learn the effects of pesticides lingering in hives, how to help reduce the risk of pesticides wintering in the hive, reporting bee kills—difference between acute kills and pre-lethal effects, the difference between reporting winter losses and acute kills, out of season losses, and the role of apiary registry programs in protecting bees.

“Mosquito Abatement Programs Can Damage Honey Bees and Native Pollinators”
The presentation discusses how to educate local mosquito control boards, clarifies public health emergencies and their effect upon pesticide label guidelines, present mosquito abatement programs that have harmed pollinators, discusses the limitations of apiary registry programs, and how to report a bee kill.

 “Creating your own pesticide-free pollinator habitat”
oct flowers 4Participants will learn how to create pesticide free pollinator forage in an urban front yard, be advised of available “guides,” made aware of city land use regulations, and the process, seed selection, planting and maintenance of a habitat will be presented.  Also discussed will be the value to the pollinator’s environment through water savings and management, reduced carbon emissions, expansion of “natural bee food!”  The Ohio pollinator habitat project with corporations will also be presented.

“Pesticide risk assessment, label, and enforcement”neonic label concerns-1
The process of pesticide registration, definitions and explanations of pesticide label language will be presented.  The responsibilities of Primacy partners, the process of bee kill investigations, and the importance of submitting public comments when a pesticide is being proposed for registration will be discussed.

 

 “Should you become a nonprofit beekeeping club?”
Participants will be given much “food for thought,” including guidelines, classifications, and process of becoming a nonprofit, the stage of nonprofit development, reasons for becoming a nonprofit, and reasons for NOT becoming one, and places to get assistance and guidance.

IRS nonprofit header

 “Grant research and writing: the who, what, when, where, how, why and financial responsibility”
Participants will gain an overview of how to research for grant funding, how to determine what you want funded, if it can be funded, and seeking grant funding, how to write a grant application, and the responsibilities of accepting, managing, and accounting for a grant.
 
The Program Director is located in Ohio, and can easily travel to eastern and mid-west states.
Email or call today to schedule a presentation by the Pollinator Stewardship Council.  As we are a nonprofit organization, a donation to cover travel expenses, plus a $100 honorarium is welcome. Share costs with other bee clubs in your state and maximize the program opportunities. Contact Michele Colopy, Program Director to schedule a presentation for your group.  Email the Program Director at  progdirector@pollinatorstewardship.org  or call 832-727-9492.

 

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 “When a new chemical enters the market (and thereby ends up in our water or our food), the chemical company and EPA discuss how much of the toxin should be allowed in human food.  Theoretically, such an amount should in no way harm us.  These amounts are measured in parts per million (ppm), parts per billion (ppb), and parts per trillion (ppt). A part per million is like dissolving an ounce of salt into 7,500 gallons of water.  One part per billion is like putting an ounce of chocolate syrup in 1,000 tank cars of milk.  And a part per trillion is the equivalent of a pinch of salt over 10,000 tons of potato chips.” Poison Spring: the secret history of pollution and the EPA, by E.G. Vallianatos with McKay Jenkins, 2014, page 2.

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Beekeepers Collaborate to Expand Pollinator Opportunities

The Pollinator Stewardship Council and Ohio State Beekeepers worked together to encourage local groups to apply for the GRO1000 grant funds.  Four groups developed projects, and sought funding for pollinator habitat: three groups in Ohio and one in Iowa.  All four groups received funding toward their pollinator habitat projects.  The Pollinator Stewardship Council worked directly on two of the project grants, with Bikes, Bees, and Butterflies, and Squire Valleevue Farm. Terry Lieberman-Smith, Vice President of the Ohio State Beekeepers Association encouraged a project with Bruckner Nature Center; and Pollinator Stewardship Council directed the Madison County Foundation for Environmental Education toward this funding resource.

Scotts GRO1000 logo to useThe GRO1000 grassroots program received an overwhelming response for funding.  More than 100 organizations received full or partial project funding.  The Scott’s Miracle-Gro GRO1000 grassroots funding is a program to help local communities with garden and green space development.  The pollinator habitat projects are part of the Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company’s GRO1000 Initiative, designed to create 1000 gardens and green spaces throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe by 2018, the Company’s 150th anniversary.

The Pollinator Stewardship Council received a GRO1000 grassroots grant award toward creating pollinator plantings near crops on the working, educational farm in northeast Ohio, Squire Valleevue Farm.   The project will provide for pollinator plantings in the food growing areas: the May Squire garden, Research garden, and the Berry garden.  These pollinator habitat strips at the Valleevue Farm will demonstrate that agriculture and pollinators can co-exist, increasing crop yields, and supplying pollinators with diverse food sources.  The grant partners will create a “guide” to the plants and the pollinators in the pollinator habitat, posting it on the Farm website complimenting their other guides of plants, mammals, invertebrates, etc. that reside on the Farm.   The Pollinator Stewardship Council project with Squire Valleevue Farm brings together local food production, with the education of K-12 students who visit the farm, and will be an example of the co-existence of pollinators and crops.  To learn more about the GRO1000 program visit http://scottsmiraclegro.com/corporate-responsibility/gro1000/

White House Task Force Asked to Review and Re-Assess—March 12, 2015

The Pollinator Health Task Force convened by the White House last year is scheduled to release its report early this spring.  The bee industry submitted their Input to the Pollinator Health Task Force on Certain Actions the Task Force Should Consider in Developing a Federal Strategy to Reverse Pollinator Losses and Help Restore Populations to Healthy Levels last November during the public comment period.  The Pollinator Stewardship Council supports the bee industry strategies to improve pollinator health.

I.    The Task Force should continue and expand its formal engagement with the nation’s two national beekeeping, honey production and pollination services industry organizations.
II.    The Task Force should include a comprehensive pesticide risk mitigation plan, including Best Management Practices (BMPs), Pesticide Use Registries (PURs), additional research, expedited registration reviews, and improved EPA pesticide labeling in its Federal strategy to reverse honey bee losses, and help restore honey bee populations to healthy levels.  
III.        The Task Force should include in its national strategy a substantial increase in resources committed to honey bee health research, and it should call for a re-focus of ongoing research on: more sustainable technologies for crop protection; more effective treatments for honey bee pests and pathogens; geographic diversification of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratory locations; and more field studies of honey bees throughout the year.
IV.    The Task Force should include in its national strategy a commitment to review Federal conservation programs aimed at increasing honey bee forage, identify possible challenges posed by existing programmatic restrictions or otherwise, and establish uniform national policies on the use of public lands as well as uniform guidance and incentives aimed at substantially increasing available clean forage for commercially managed honey bees on private land.
V.    The Task Force should consider enhancing efforts to stabilize the commercial beekeeping industry while a national strategy is developed and implemented.
VI.    The Task Force should include the two national beekeeping organizations in any public-private partnerships formed to address large scale pollinator needs such as nutrition and forage, pesticide risk mitigation and longitudinal, field realistic research.

The Pollinator Stewardship Council additionally encourages the Pollinator Health Task Force to examine the chronic and acute effects of pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, adjuvants, surfactants, and “inert” ingredients) upon the ecosystem.   A predominance of these chemical products are a high risk to honey bees, specifically neonicotinoids. The Pollinator Stewardship WH from 4Hcenter.orgCouncil would like the White House Pollinator Health Task Force to accelerate the review of neonicotinoids, enacting a moratorium (*definition of “moratorium” — “a planned activity is postponed.”) on their use until longitudinal studies have been completed, and all of the science can be reviewed to determine a full and complete science-based decision concerning their application.  We encourage the Task Force to stop registering additional pesticide products of the neonicotinoid class of pesticides until a full review of the research is complete.  According to beekeepers’ experience, and research, chemical products highly toxic to honey bees are also highly detrimental to the crop pollination services and honey crop production of beekeepers.  The Pollinator Stewardship Council encourages the Task Force to work with beekeepers and the beekeeping industry to protect the health of pollinators and this valuable industry which pollinates one in three bites of America’s food.

For research on neonicotinoids, the value of pollinators, and the impact of pesticides on honey bees and native pollinators visit our website at  http://pollinatorstewardship.org/?page_id=2324

Research

Survey of Glyphosate Residues in Honey, Corn and Soy Products 
Fernando Rubio1, Emily Guo and Lisa Kamp

Abstract
Samples of honey (sixty nine), pancake and corn syrup (twenty six), soy sauce (twenty eight), soy milk (eleven), and tofu (twenty) purchased in the Philadelphia, US metropolitan area were analyzed for glyphosate residue using ELISA. The limit of quantification (LOQ) and range of the method were determined for honey, pancake syrup, and corn syrup to be 15 to 800 ppb; soy sauce, soy milk, and tofu 75 to 4,000 ppb. Glyphosate residues above the limit of quantification were not found in pancake and corn syrup, soy milk, and tofu. Of the sixty-nine honey samples analyzed, forty-one samples, or fifty-nine percent (59%), had glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ (15 ppb), with a  concentration range between 17 and 163 ppb and a mean of 64 ppb. Eleven of the tested honey samples were organic; five of the organic honey samples, or forty-five percent (45%), contained glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ, with a range of 26 to 93 ppb and a mean of 50 ppb. Of the fifty-eight non-organic honey samples, thirty-six samples, or sixty-two percent (62%), contained glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ, with a range of 17 to 163 ppb and a mean of 66 ppb. In addition to comparison of production method (organic vs. conventional), the honey results were evaluated according to pollen source and by country of origin, grouped by GMO usage (prohibited, limited, or permitted). Glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ (75 ppb) were also found in ten of the twenty-eight soy sauce samples evaluated (36%), with a concentration range between 88 and 564 ppb and a mean of 242 ppb; all organic soy sauce samples tested were below the method LOQ.

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