Habitat is a Collaboration; Pollinator Week report; Be Your Brother’s Keeper, and more

Pollinator News                     July 21, 2017

Pollinator Habitat is a Collaboration

Pollinator health is key to an affordable and sustainable food supply.   Managed honey bees and native pollinators have been experiencing four challenges to their health.  When combined, the pests, pathogens, pesticide exposure, and poor forage are gravely affecting our pollinators.

Pesticide exposure, either directly or through systemic pesticide applications kill pollinators.  Sub-lethal levels of some pesticides remain in pollen and nectar of bee attractive plants. These weaken a honey bee colony across a season, often killing the colony at the end of summer or by the middle of winter.

Pollinator Stewardship Council secured the grant and collaborated with Ohio State Beekeepers Assn. and Medina County Beekeepers Assn., and partnered with three land partners in Ohio to create 33 acres of public/private partnerships of pollinator habitat.  Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Fairborn Cement, and Professional Service Providers dedicated portions of their land for pollinators for five years.   

View the before and after pictures of this collaborative project 



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Follow the link to learn how you can host a screening of the film!


Nine days of Ohio Pollinator Activities

Representatives of the National Recreation and Park Association, American Honey Queen, Scotts CEO, Jim Hagedorn, Mayor/President of Council of Marysville, J.R. Rausch and Pollinator Stewardship Council (PSC) are on hand for two acres of pollinator habitat listed with the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative in Ohio. Scotts continues to follow-through on its Pollinator Promise made in 2016. Scotts MiracleGRO dedicated its company to withdraw neonicotinoid pesticides from all of its Ortho brand home garden pest control products by 2021, but they are two years ahead of schedule. The systemic pesticides, neonicotinoids, will cease to be in the Ortho products by 2019. Pollinator Stewardship Council and the National Recreation and Park Association met with scientists at Scotts discussing issues of importance to beekeepers and park managers. Leadership at Scotts expressed the desire and focus of the younger, mostly women scientists, who sought to focus on developing repellents for pest control, more than toxic controls.

Understanding occurs when we talk with and listen to each other. Scotts MiracleGRO Foundation supported Ohio Pollinator Week again this past June. We brought in the Honey Queen for the nine days, participated in a Keep the Hives Alive film showing; exhibited at four destination venues across Ohio connecting with 674 people at our event tables and program activities, we held drawings at each venue for three gift baskets: Ohio honey and hive products, a gardening basket, and family memberships to each venue. The destination venues had an estimated total attendance of nearly 1500. We met with our three habitat project partners, participated in a State Advocacy Day meeting with 23 State legislators of the Agricultural Committees (presenting the beekeeper liability law passed by Ohio’s neighboring state), and met with Senator Sherrod Brown’s staff. The funding support of the Scotts Foundation makes Ohio Pollinator Week possible. As we reported last year, you will find the list of expenses for Pollinator Week here:
PSC staff $ 6,240.00
Travel $ 2,069.28
Hotel $ 1,876.29
Gift baskets for drawings $ 712.20
Advocacy $ 260.13
Venues $ 1,270.00
TOTAL   $12,427.90



Learn More Here


Being Your Brother’s Keeper

Originally published by National Public Radio on July 6, 2017 10:17 am
Seeds developed to withstand the herbicide dicamba have been causing “issues” for neighboring farmers who are not using dicamba resistant seeds.  Applications of dicamba have been volatizing in the field and drifting onto fields that are being decimated by the herbicide.  Herbicides kill “leafy green plants,” and do not distinguish between pollinator habitat or crops.  In Arkansas alone there have been over 500 complaints of dicamba damage. National Public Radio (NPR)  reported July 6, 2017 that the “total area of damaged soybean fields could reach 2 million acres,” across Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, and Mississippi.
The NPR report continued, “Tom Burnham, who farms land in Mississippi County, Arkansas, and across the state line in Missouri, is one of the farmers pushing for a ban on dicamba spraying. “This technology cannot be allowed to exist,” he says. “It cannot co-exist with other crops.”
In theory, if every farmer bought Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant soybeans, then their crops all would be safe from dicamba drift. But Burham says “it’s ludicrous to expect everybody to plant this, just to defend themselves. And that doesn’t address vegetable growers, people with orchards, people with vineyards. They’re going to be economically harmed, too.” Other farmers, meanwhile, who’ve bought dicamba-tolerant seeds and want to use the chemical, have argued for their right to spray dicamba.
Monsanto’s head of crop protection, in an interview posted on the site of CropLife, an industry website, said that farmers were still learning how to use dicamba safely. The current problems, he said, were “just part of the learning curve.

These activities are similar to the use of crop protection products when bees are contracted for pollination, and the neighboring farmer applies pesticides without being concerned for the neighboring crop.  Too many bee kills have occurred during almond pollination due to pesticide exposure in neighboring crops.  What happens in one crop field will affect the neighboring field whether it is the same crop or a different crop.  Bees hired to pollinate a fruit or nut orchard will be affected by pesticides applied in nearby alfalfa, cotton, or vegetable crops.  Farmers want to protect their crops from pests, but they should also want to be their brother’s keeper and work with their neighbor to protect their crop.  Crop protection includes ensuring pollination can occur; killing a fellow farmer’s rented bees due to your pesticide application causes as much of a crop loss as dicamba drifting across the road.  In diversity is strength; of crops, farming, crop health, bee health, and agricultural sustainability.

To learn more, visit http://wksu.org/post/damage-wayward-weedkiller-keeps-growing#stream/0 , http://www.iowafarmertoday.com/news/crop/dicamba-drift-causes-issues/article_f7ab3c22-5f2f-11e6-b98d-77a794d72aed.html http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-06-22/sustainable-agriculture/pesticide-drift-prevention-communication-called-key/a58229-1

Learn about preventing drift by the Practical Farmers of Iowa

Update to dicamba use

 From Farm Journal’s AGPRO July 8, 2017, “The agriculture departments in Missouri and Arkansas, ground zero in the ongoing challenges related to alleged dicamba misuse, on Friday each halted the sale and use of the product in their states. Arkansas’ ban is in effect for 120 days; Missouri officials say they’d like to reinstate applications during the current growing season, pending their investigation.”  Read the full article 

See Arkansas Agriculture Department dicamba decision 

See Missouri’s stop use/sale order for dicamba





The Dirt and the Bees:  The Epidemiology of Neonicotinoids


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Our Outreach- May & June 2017

During May and June the Pollinator Stewardship Council conducted outreach to:
•    Advocacy Day with 23 Ohio State legislators; 2 Senators
•    Three habitat partners
•    Dedicated a new habitat
•    Bee kill report from NH beekeeper
•    Implemented Ohio Pollinator Week in collaboration with Ohio State Beekeepers Assn.
•    Wrote support letter for Dr. Reed Johnson’s grant research proposal
•    “Executive Produced” the Keep the Hives Alive “primer” film
•    Connect advocates with Cincinnati beekeeper
•    Collected bee kill report from Cambria, CA
•    Gave a presentation to Summit County beekeepers
•    Gave a presentation, and hold a strategic planning session with Australian beekeepers
•    Talked with Bloomberg News reporter
•    Talked with Bee advocate in Massachusetts


Honey Bee Health Coalition 

We are a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition

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 Varroa Management
Quick Guide to Reporting A Bee Kill
Beekeeper Guide
Grower Guide
Bee Healthy Roadmap
The Bee Understanding Project-.  View the first film at this link

Why does bee health matter? The science surrounding honey bee health concerns and what we can do about it, Read the paper

“Beekeeper Insights on Honey Bee Nutrition Supplements” report

Competition to find the most innovative ideas to tackle honey bee nutrition challenges. Learn more

Bees MatterLearn more

Academic collaboration
In an effort to track this problem and gather better data, the Bee Informed Partnership, Michigan State University, and the University of Maryland – College Park have launched MiteCheck. The program allows beekeepers to report mite counts and infestations — and to track geographic trends in mite populations.


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 MississippiBBB Seed Plant for Pollinators Proj logo

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!

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
832-727-9492              www.pollinatorstewardship.org


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.