Beekeeper Takes Action; EPA Meeting; Chlorpyrifos; and more

Pollinator News                March 31, 2017

Georgia Beekeeper Takes Action

tru green truckYou see the darnedest things driving down the street!  A Georgia beekeeper Julia M., came upon a spill coming from a lawn care company truck in her neighborhood last week.  “I followed the driver and he was very nice and told me that it was a normal spillage that happens when the fluid that was just pumped up just spills a little bit. This was not a “little bit” and I am very disturbed about these chemicals being dumped in my neighborhood to wash down the storm drains.”  So,  Julia turned on the camera on her cell phone and recorded the “little bit” of spillage from the truck.  This video shows what was happening every time this truck hit a speed hump or even bump in the road.  This was in the span of a few blocks.

Julia called the corporate office of the company in Atlanta and “the woman with whom I spoke didn’t seem to know where to direct my call. After a brief hold I was disconnected.”  Julia sent this video to the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture.   She then contacted the Pollinator Stewardship Council as to other important places to report this spill.   We connected her directly to the EPA in Washington.  We called our EPA contact and advised them of the incident and that an email was being sent by a Georgia beekeeper to EPA.  EPA responded to Julia M.  within a half hour of her email to them.  The EPA contacted the corporate office in Atlanta, as the beekeeper had gotten the tag number off of the truck.    The beekeeper also forwarded the video and information about the spill to her city councilman, who stated they would “cite the company, at the least.”

This Georgia beekeeper learned the importance of reporting pesticide incidents while attending the Georgia Beekeepers Conference in February.  Pollinator Stewardship Council spoke at the Conference of the importance for collecting the data of pesticide related incidents, and that all of us must be the “somebody” who speaks out for our bees and the ecosystem.  Spillage as shown in the video of pesticides from a truck violates the pesticide label directions.  Thank you to Julia M. who reported this spill, who had the foresight (and good driving skills) to film the pesticide spill, and for taking action to call the company, to call her city councilman, and to contact Pollinator Stewardship Council so we could assist her in contacting EPA.



Meeting with EPA

The Pollinator Stewardship Council and American Beekeeping Federation sent a letter to the new EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, seeking a meeting to discuss bee industry concerns.  A meeting was held March 29 in Washington, D.C. at EPA headquarters.  Beekeepers, Bret Adee, President of Pollinator Stewardship Council, Tim May, Vice President of American Beekeeping Federation, and Jim Garrison, President of Tennessee Beekeepers Assn, and Board member for Pollinator Stewardship Council were joined by Larissa Walker, Pollinator Program Director, Policy Analyst for Center for Food Safety.   READ MORE

Deadline EXTENDED until April 19th:
Take Action for honey labels

take action by march 6 pic

to TAKE ACTION go here

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued guidance for nutrition labels.  Beginning in 2018 FDA will require packaged honey to include on the nutrition label both “Total Sugars” and “Added Sugars”.  However, FDA does not distinguish between the two.  Labels will need to include the same amount of grams of sugar under each category e.g. “17 grams of Total Sugar” and “17 grams of Added Sugars.”     Keep in mind, products sold by companies qualifying for small business exemptions are one exception to this requirement. Small business exemptions are available for products sold in small volume (fewer than 100,000 units per year) by small companies (fewer than 100 employees).   This label change will not affect all beekeepers immediately.  Eventually, it will create confusion across the honey industry and mislead the consumer about a natural product that is in actuality a healthier sweetener to add to food than processed white or brown sugar.

Additionally, FDA is requiring even fruit juices (with no corn syrup or sugar added) to also note on their labels “added sugar” and “total sugar.”  The Citrus industry has secured an exemption.  However, this label will simply be misleading to the consumer.    FDA seeks to advise consumers about the “added sugar” to their diet, but this label will imply honey has “added sugars” to the honey, when it does not.  Besides honey and maple syrup, and even the juice of fruit contain natural sugars, not “added sugar.”

Send in your comments concerning this confusing label FDA seeks to establish here


see us at march 24


EPA Administrator Pruitt Denies Petition to Ban Widely Used Pesticide

WASHINGTON – March 29, 2017 “The  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed an order denying a petition that sought to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide crucial to U.S. agriculture.

“We need to provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos, while still protecting human health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Pruitt. “By reversing the previous Administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making – rather than predetermined results.”



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together we will make a difference!

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Become a member online today !


Our Outreach- March 2017

Since February, the Pollinator Stewardship Council has given seven presentations to bee MARCH OUTREACH MAPkeeping and community groups, participated in the Bluegrass Bee School, and was a featured speaker at the Massachusetts Beekeepers Spring meeting.  Working an average of 59.21 hours per week the Program Director spoke with 235 people total at those events.  Serving as a resource the Program Director provided referrals for:
o    Georgia Bee Kill report “how to” information to Beekeeper
o    support letter to Wisconsin  Children’s Museum
o    talk with Georgia beekeeper-license plates to support bees
o    seek info from MD, LA, VA on their license plates-refer them to Georgia beekeeper
o    collect bee kill incident report for California
o    talk with beekeeper and advocate about pollinator legislation
o    contact CO state beekeepers about a media article
o    Indiana beekeeper- habitat referral given
o    Calif. beekeeper- glyphosate research info. provided
o    Texas Beekeepers- SB 1172 information
o    bee sample information criteria to a beekeeper
o    talk with beekeeper re: Calif. Pollinator Bill: gave referrals
o    mulch and pesticides information provided to PA beekeeper
o    Pollinator Protection Plan information to VA beekeeper
o    Connect GA beekeeper with EPA concerning pesticide spill (see video)



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Read more here 



An Inert Pesticide Adjuvant Synergizes Viral Pathogenicity and Mortality in Honey Bee Larvae
Julia D. Fine, Diana L. Cox-Foster & Christopher A. Mullin

Honey bees are highly valued for their pollination services in agricultural settings, and recent declines in managed populations have caused concern. Colony losses following a major pollination event in the United States, almond pollination, have been characterized by brood mortality with specific symptoms, followed by eventual colony loss weeks later. In this study, we demonstrate that these symptoms can be produced by chronically exposing brood to both an organosilicone surfactant adjuvant (OSS) commonly used on many agricultural crops including wine grapes, tree nuts and tree fruits and exogenous viral pathogens by simulating a horizontal transmission event. Observed synergistic mortality occurred during the larval-pupal molt. Using q-PCR techniques to measure gene expression and viral levels in larvae taken prior to observed mortality at metamorphosis, we found that exposure to OSS and exogenous virus resulted in significantly heightened Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV) titers and lower expression of a Toll 7-like-receptor associated with autophagic viral defense (Am18w). These results demonstrate that organosilicone spray adjuvants that are considered biologically inert potentiate viral pathogenicity in honey bee larvae, and guidelines for OSS use may be warranted.

How to Eat a Plant: Phytochemical Detoxification in Bees vs. Butterflies
Dr. May Berenbaum, University of Illinois

Dr. Berenbaum will re-present her award presentation as the 2016 Sterling B. Hendricks Lectureship Awardee.  Dr. Berenbaum is an entomologist whose research has focused on the chemical mechanisms underlying interactions between insects and their host plants. Insects produce a wide variety of chemical compounds for combating predators, detoxifying poisonous substances, securing and preserving food, and otherwise exerting control over their environment.  Along with her path-breaking scientific discoveries, Dr. Berenbaum has had a major impact on the environmental sciences through her public engagement. With her commitment to making complicated scientific subjects, especially entomology, accessible for the public, she has become one of the leading public authoritative sources for information on insects in the country.


Heartland  Apicultural Society (HAS)

Regional Conference

July 13 – 15th, 2017, University of Southern Indiana (USI) will be the host location of theHAS 2017 16th Annual Heartland Apicultural Society Conference.  There will be three full days of breakout sessions, a queen rearing class, a children’s program, a honey show, an art show, some great speakers and many vendor booths.

Keynote speakers will include Dr. Ernesto Guzman a professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario Canada, Dr. Jeff Harris an assistant professor at Mississippi State University and Judge Dan O’Hanlon who led the effort to pass a bill in West Virginia granting immunity to beekeepers, the first in the nation.  Along with all the great bee classes, on Thursday night there will be an ice-cream social and Friday night will be a good old BBQ.  Registration for vendors and attendees is online at registration for both attendees and vendors is online:



Honey Bees Continue to Face Serious Challenges

By Julie Shapiro

The Honey Bee Health Coalition is a broad coalition of more than 40 North American companieHBHC Logo-Revised jpg-smalls and organizations — including beekeepers, farmers, researchers, conservation organizations, agribusinesses and government agencies — developing and implementing science-based strategies to support honey bee health.




We are a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition

HBHC Logo-Revised jpg-smallTools for Beekeepers and Growers

HBHC Varroa videos:
Varroa mite PSA
Video 1 – IPM
Video 2, 3 – Sampling methods

Video 4 – Essential oils 
Video 5 – Using Apivar 
Video 6 – Using Apistan or Checkmite+ 
Video 7 – Formic acid 
Video 8 – Using HopGuard 
Video 9 – Using Oxalic Acid 
Video 10 – Using sanitation, screen bottoms
Video 11 – Using drone brood removal
Video 12 – Using requeening 

Tools for Honey Bee Health
    Tools for Varroa Management  
    Quick Guide to Reporting A Bee Kill 
    Beekeeper Guide 
    Grower Guide 
    Bee Healthy Roadmap
The Bee Understanding Project


Seeds for honey bees EAST of the Mississippi!

OPN pic for PSc websitePlant pollinator forage for your bees. Pollinator Stewardship Council has partnered with Ohio Prairie Nursery in support of pollinator habitat.  You can get native seeds for the eastern U.S. planting zones here.  Select “Support our Cause”  to view featured seed selections to benefit pollinators.  A portion of sales generated from our website will help support our work.


Seeds for honey bees WEST of the Mississippi

To increase plant biodiversity, improve gardens yields, and make a positive difference for the future, plant for pollinators WEST of the Mississippi with bbbseed.  Go to their website, today and Plant For Pollinators!

BBB Seed Plant for Pollinators Proj logo

Betterbee Has Seeds for Pollinator Habitat betterbee logo

Betterbee was at the Massachusetts Beekeepers Assn. Spring Meeting offering a variety of seed mixes for beekeepers to plant.   You can find seven seed mix varieties at their website

Planting forage for our bees is important; and beekeepers can lead by example!


Pollinator Stewardship Council
1624 Idlewood Ave., Akron, OH 44313

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We are member supported!  The Pollinator Stewardship Council is a nonprofit organization; donations are tax deductible.

View our 2016 Annual Report here

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Beekeepers Working for Beekeepers

The Board and Program Director are all beekeepers.   
We work to:

•    Raise awareness about the adverse impact of pesticides on pollinators critical to the supply of food and the ecosystem.

•    Provide advocacy, guidance, and tools to document the detrimental effect of pesticides on pollinators.

•    Affect regulatory processes of pesticide risk assessment, label, and enforcement.