Walmart & True Value phase out bee killing pesticides; Adopting a Hive Mentality


Pollinator News                    May 12, 2017

Walmart and True Value to phase out bee-killing pesticides while Ace Hardware lags behind

Posted May. 3, 2017 /  by: Erin Jensen

Garden retailers nearly unanimous in rejecting bee-killing pesticides

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Friends of the Earth and its allies announced a major advancement in their fight to protect essential pollinator populations. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and True Value have decided to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides, a leading driver of global bee declines, from company garden retail supply chains. This follows an ongoing campaign by Friends of the Earth and allies urging garden retailers, including True Value and Walmart, to stop selling plants treated with neonicotinoids and remove products containing them from store shelves.

In an email to Friends of the Earth, Walmart confirmed that its growers have eliminated neonics from approximately 80 percent of its garden plants. Walmart has also eliminated neonicotinoids in almost all its off-the-shelf gardening products. True Value announced ( ) that it will phase out products that contain neonicotinoid pesticides by the spring of 2018 and that the company is working with its growing partners to remove neonicotinoids from its plants.
“This is a great day for bees and sends an important message that the market is listening to consumers and sound science in refusing to sell bee-killing pesticides,” said Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Food Futures Campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S. “Friends of the Earth and our allies will continue to challenge Ace Hardware to eliminate these pesticides as quickly as possible to protect pollinators, people and the planet.”   READ MORE


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Adopting a Hive Mentality

Guest writer, Wendy MatherBee audacious logo

This is the second in a series of articles on Bee Audacious, the “collaborative working conference using dialogue to envision bold evidence-based ideas through which honey bees, other bees beekeepers and pollination managers could prosper” held in Marshal, CA December 11-13, 2016.  
As Tom Seeley states in his paper on The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Hives, “colonies are remarkably complex, in many ways comparable to an animal brain, despite being individually quite simple. And every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing a new home, honey bees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. It is a democratic process that humans — especially office drones — might do well to emulate.”  READ MORE


————————————————————————————————————–see us at April 14



Bumblebees Boost Blueberry Yield
Article ID: 672565   Released: 6-Apr-2017 7:05 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Like other fruit plants, blueberries need pollinators, such as bees, to grow. Farmers are growing increasingly dependent on western honeybees, scientists say. But bumblebees are more active in poor weather and pollinate highbush blueberries more, so UF/IFAS researchers wanted to test bumblebees on a local blueberry farm.  Bumblebees can boost blueberry yield by 70 percent, good news for Florida growers in the heart of their blueberry season, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows.  The news also accentuates the need for blueberry pollinators, said Joshua Campbell, a post-doctoral researcher in the UF/IFAS entomology and nematology department.  READ MORE

Translocation of the neonicotinoid seed treatment clothianidin in maize
Adam Alford , Christian H. Krupke, Published: March 10, 2017,

Neonicotinoid seed treatments, typically clothianidin or thiamethoxam, are routinely applied to >80% of maize (corn) seed grown in North America where they are marketed as a targeted pesticide delivery system. Despite this widespread use, the amount of compound translocated into plant tissue from the initial seed treatment to provide protection has not been reported. Our two year field study compared concentrations of clothianidin seed treatments in maize to that of maize without neonicotinoid seed treatments and found neonicotinoids present in root tissues up to 34 days post planting. Plant-bound clothianidin concentrations followed an exponential decay pattern with initially high values followed by a rapid decrease within the first ~20 days post planting. A maximum of 1.34% of the initial seed treatment was successfully recovered from plant tissues in both study years and a maximum of 0.26% was recovered from root tissue. Our findings show neonicotinoid seed treatments may provide protection from some early season secondary maize pests. However, the proportion of the neonicotinoid seed treatment clothianidin translocated into plant tissues throughout the growing season is low overall and this observation may provide a mechanism to explain reports of inconsistent efficacy of this pest management approach and increasing detections of environmental neonicotinoids.  READ MORE


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Our Outreach- April 2017

During April the Pollinator Stewardship Council began planning Ohio Pollinator Week in April map of outreachpartnership with Scotts Foundation and Ohio State Beekeepers Association.  Working with four destination venues in the state, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Aullwood Audubon Farm, Krohn Conservatory a week of educational activities will be featured.  The 2017 American Honey Queen will be in attendance at each event, including an advocacy day in the state capital.  The Program Director, and Board member Zac Browning attended the Spring Honey Bee Health Coalition meeting to discuss future projects such as pollinator training modules for pesticide applicators, the release of a CAST paper moderated by Dr. Marla Spivak about the state of honey be health, soybean best management practices to protect pollinators, and more.  Working an average of 58.32 hours per week the Program Director gave one presentation in April to a beekeeping association, and provided referrals for:
o    Provide mosquito control information to Pennsylvania contact
o    provided honey bee health issue information to a report with the Christian Science Monitor
o    Secure writer/reporter of the Bee Audacious workshop for PSC Newsletter
o    Assist OH beekeeper with Pollinator Habitat info. with local DOT
o    Provide Pollinator Habitat information to Kent Environmental Council
o    Provide handouts to H.S. student for pollinator session
o    Mail the last 15 laminated Quickguides to beekeepers; a total of 122 have been mailed, with 1,878 distributed at conferences and presentations
o    Provide Richland County, OH beekeeper with pesticide info.
o    Research farm worker educational materials for a beekeeper
o    Provide input on state dept. of agriculture apiary rules for a state bee assn.
o    talk with reporter at EE news
o    talk with reporter at Swiss radio in Calif.; provide a referral to a researcher
o    participate on MP3evaluation metrics sub-work group of PPDC conference calls
o    collect a bee kill report
o    advise media of PSC view of chlorpyrifos concerns


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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!

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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
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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.