Industry Is Taking The Next Steps Toward Improved Pollinator Health, Reardon Says

Karen Reardon, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment
Karen Reardon, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment

Responsible Industry For A Sound Environment (RISE) is a national trade association that represents manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders involved with specialty pesticides and fertilizers. RISE has been actively engaged in the pollinator health dialogue since the Colony Collapse Disorder phenomenon began in 2006. It aims to promote the facts about pests and the threats they pose to health and safety.

Greenhouse Grower (GG) caught up with Karen Reardon, RISE vice president of public affairs, to find out how RISE members are working to improve pollinator health, what the industry should expect from government agencies and how growers should join the discussion and play a role in the important work of protecting pollinators and promoting their improved health.
RISE plans to launch its “Bee Responsible” pollinator health awareness campaign this month. Visit DebugTheMyths.com for more information. Go to PestFacts.org to learn more about RISE.

GG: How have RISE members been contributing to the pollinator health issue?

Karen Reardon: There is an enormous amount of work underway within our member companies, as well as in other industries including public utilities and other large land owners.

Our members are investing significantly in research and development to find solutions for parasites such as the Varroa mite and disease pathogens that are harmful to bees, as well as bee health issues including nutrition and habitat.
A Varroa mite on a bee, in relative terms, would be like you or I having a dinner-plate-sized parasite on us, so it is quite significant.

GG: Tell us about the work RISE has been doing with the White House.

Reardon: The White House has an interest in this important topic, and is currently gathering information and engaging in discussions with a range of stakeholders, including our members, about what might be done in a timely way to make a difference for pollinator health.

GG: What kind of efforts can growers expect to see from the USDA on the pollinator health issue?

Reardon: The USDA is convening experts to look at what might be done. We will see more investment going to research to deal with diseases and parasites, the Varroa mite being job one.

We are also going to see more investment, discussion and activity around providing bee habitats and improved nutrition.

GG: What are the most important messages for our industry to communicate to the public about pollinator health?

Reardon: Certainly, everyone has a stake in this — bees are important to our crops and food supply.

Part of this pollinator issue has brought pesticide activism into the grower’s space, that hasn’t really been there before. Growers need to understand their role in all of this, and having a unified message about best management practices and stewardship around the issue is really important.

Associations have a role in communicating information to the public, but really, people want to hear from their peers, their neighbors. People understand and are receptive to information. I urge growers to start or join the conversation in their communities.

GG: How can growers, retailers and consumers promote pollinator health?

Reardon: For growers and retailers, use best management practices when using insecticides, make sure the employees who are handling those materials are trained so they don’t impact pollinators and other off-target organisms.

Encourage consumers to be informed and provide information to them about pollinator-attractive plants. (See Lead The Way: Three Ways To Support Pollinators In Your Community.) Invest in consumer education about pollinator health and provide opportunities to contribute, like creating habitats and nutritional opportunities for bees in the urban and suburban landscape.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Management...
Karen Reardon, RISE

October 15, 2017

Karen Reardon of RISE Honored by CropLife America

CropLife America presented Reardon with its highest staff award for her successful effort to defend against the ban of pesticide use on private property in Maryland.

Read More
TreetownUSA

October 10, 2017

Houston-Based TreeTown USA Acquires Village Nurseries

With the addition of the new West Coast division, which will continue to operate under its trade name of Village Nurseries, TreeTown USA will now encompass 16 farm locations throughout California, Texas, and Florida, with more than 4,000 acres in production.

Read More

October 10, 2017

Sharpen Your Skills in Cost Management and Profitability With This Online Course

The University of Florida is offering a new online course on costing and profitability. The course will take growers through the process of how to accurately evaluate cost of production, labor efficiency, pricing, and equipment investment decisions.

Read More
Latest Stories
Karen Reardon, RISE

October 15, 2017

Karen Reardon of RISE Honored by CropLife America

CropLife America presented Reardon with its highest staff award for her successful effort to defend against the ban of pesticide use on private property in Maryland.

Read More
TreetownUSA

October 10, 2017

Houston-Based TreeTown USA Acquires Village Nurseries

With the addition of the new West Coast division, which will continue to operate under its trade name of Village Nurseries, TreeTown USA will now encompass 16 farm locations throughout California, Texas, and Florida, with more than 4,000 acres in production.

Read More

October 10, 2017

Sharpen Your Skills in Cost Management and Profitabilit…

The University of Florida is offering a new online course on costing and profitability. The course will take growers through the process of how to accurately evaluate cost of production, labor efficiency, pricing, and equipment investment decisions.

Read More
Micandy Ownership Team feature

October 6, 2017

Team Empowerment Pays Off at Micandy Gardens Greenhouse…

With a strong team that acts more like family powering its success, the 2017 Operation of the Year mixes good business practices with the pleasure of spreading the joy of plants.

Read More
Succulent landscape

October 3, 2017

The Landscape Show is Back; Here’s All the Details

After being temporarily canceled due to Hurricane Irma, the FNGLA Landscape Show will return to Orlando in early November.

Read More
Petal-it-Forward

October 3, 2017

October 11 is Your Chance to Petal it Forward

The Society of American Florists’ “Petal it Forward” campaign returns in 2017. Learn how you can participate in this day of spreading kindness through flowers.

Read More
Willoway Nurseries Team

October 1, 2017

How Willoway Nurseries Gets Its Staff Engaged in The Co…

Willoway Nurseries in Avon, OH, is creating a culture with people who think, act, and feel like owners. Learn how its team is taking the business to the next level.

Read More

September 29, 2017

Vertical Farming Looks to Go Mainstream

The University of the District of Columbia is the nation’s only urban land-grant university, so it was a particularly appropriate setting for the Association of Vertical Farming (AVF) to host the AVF Summit 2017 on September 22. The summit was a mix of education, advocacy, and policy discussion about urban agriculture — vertical farming in particular — targeted at finding ways to broaden its adoption in cities around the country and around the world. You’ve probably heard quite a bit in recent months about vertical farming — systems for growing food in stacked layers in completely controlled environments, applying inputs such as light, water, and fertilizer in precise amounts. While there’s some use of these systems in greenhouse settings, in many cases, urban farmers are repurposing abandoned buildings or even shipping containers. Match the availability of these facilities in most large urban areas with big cities’ limited access to fresh, […]

Read More
Workers at Golden State Bulb Growers clean Calla tubers and select the best quality bulbs, placing them on conveyors to be graded, counted and sorted in the new system

September 26, 2017

Senator Thom Tillis Says eVerify, Border Security Key t…

The North Carolina senator detailed his deal breakers on immigration reform for horticulture industry members during AmericanHort’s Impact Washington, just one day before filing the SUCCEED Act, a co-sponsored solution to the DREAMers’ plight.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

September 26, 2017

Gardening Industry Not Recovering as Much From Recent R…

In his latest blog posting, garden retail industry consultant Ian Baldwin says changing consumer demographics mean that, unlike past indicators, the garden business hasn’t surged after a recession — and it’s not going to under the current model.

Read More
Prides Corner Farms herb house

September 25, 2017

Ag Secretary Perdue Visits New England Growers, Hears L…

Earlier this month, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue got a close look at horticultural production during his two-day “Back to Our Roots” trip to New England to discuss the 2018 Farm Bill and opportunities for rural prosperity with growers.

Read More
Steve Garvey, Dallas Johnson Greenhouses

September 23, 2017

Producing Quality Plants in the Greenhouse Starts From …

It's common for growers to make mistakes. What you learn from those mistakes is what sets you apart as a grower and where quality starts.

Read More
Hurricane Irma Damage

September 22, 2017

Hurricane Recovery Update: Aris Resumes Shipping, Assis…

Harvey and Irma wreaked havoc on the floriculture and nursery industries in Texas, Florida, and elsewhere. Here are the latest updates.

Read More
Quality in the Greenhouse

September 21, 2017

Two Head Growers and a Retail Live Goods Buyer Talk Bes…

Ultimately, the quality of the plants you grow will be responsible for the success of the consumer, and consumer success will ideally translate to repeat sales. That’s why quality must be a top priority for all growers, according to Brad Julian, a Live Goods Buyer for Lowe’s Home Improvement, and Head Growers Dennis Crum of Four Star Greenhouse and Joe Moore of Lucas Greenhouses.

Read More

September 21, 2017

Horticulture Is All About Connections

The beauty of our industry is that we are more than willing to reach out and help those around us. What connections can you make today to help your business, and what can you offer to help another grower?

Read More

September 19, 2017

Horticulture Business Leaders Demand Resolution to Labo…

AmericanHort's Impact Washington event was an importantly timed mission of advocacy for the green industry, delivering messages to lawmakers on three of the most pressing issues – labor and the workforce, research and innovation, and tax reform.

Read More
MANTS

September 16, 2017

Registration for MANTS 2018 Now Open

MANTS, which takes place Jan. 10-12, 2018, in Baltimore, MD, brings together green industry professionals from around the world.

Read More
GGS Cannabis Production

September 14, 2017

Griffin Workshop to Provide Education to New Cannabis P…

Griffin will be hosting a half-day educational workshop in Lancaster, PA, on Sept. 26, that will focus on crop protection and nutrition, as well as sanitation.

Read More