A newly released educational video provides valuable information on horticulture’s essential role in bee and pollinator stewardship.
“Protecting Bees & Pollinators: What Horticulture Needs to Know,” narrates the current state of bee and pollinator health, provides information on factors that impact pollinators and the environment, including the use of pesticides, and underscores the beneficial role horticulture plays in providing healthy pollinator ecosystems.
The seven-minute video was produced as part of the horticulture industry’s Bee & Pollinator Stewardship Initiative, a collaboration by the Horticultural Research Institute, AmericanHort, Society of American Florists (SAF) and the American Floral Endowment.
“Very few businesses can be more beneficial to bees and pollinators in this country than horticulture,” says John Coulter, president of the Horticultural Research Institute. “Our passion is to grow healthy plants and flowers. Our products offer the very thing pollinators need to thrive: diverse and ample sources of forage.”
The video serves as a valuable resource to industry professionals and horticulture enthusiasts by providing an overview of all the factors affecting bee and pollinator health today. It also reinforces information based on science that many in the industry have asked growers, retailers and consumers to focus on when making decisions about buying and using plants treated with pesticides.
“To help us answer the tough questions posed by gardeners and consumers, we’ve gathered top minds in conservation, research and pest management to educate and inform us on this issue. We are also funding and leveraging research on best practices for our members,” says Michael V. Geary, president and CEO of AmericanHort.
A number of experts provide commentary in the video, including:
- Vicki Wojcik, Ph.D., Research Director, Pollinator Partnership – Wojcik oversees pollinator research for the Pollinator Partnership, an independent organization committed to the protection of native pollinators vital to ecosystems and agriculture. Augmenting pollinator habitat and forage is a driving goal for Wojcik and the Pollinator Partnership.
- Richard Cowles, Ph.D., Entomologist, Connecticut Valley Laboratory – Cowles is a leading entomologist and researcher with more than 25 years of expertise in the areas of biology, integrated pest management and pest research. Using plants commonly found in the landscape, he is researching systemic insecticide uptake and potential pollinator interactions with nectar and pollen. In turn, this knowledge will further the establishment of best management guidelines for growing plants and protecting pollinators.
- Andrew Bishop, Ph.D., Managing Director, Green Leaf Plants – Bishop is an international recognized expert in all facets of greenhouse plant production and pest management. He currently is managing director for Green Leaf Plants in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; providing starter plants to growers in ornamental horticulture, serving global markets from facilities in the U.S. and British Columbia.
- Zac Browning, Owner, Browning’s Honey Co., Inc. – Browning is a fourth generation commercial beekeeper and honey producer operating more than 20,000 hives for honey production and pollination in multiple states. He has served the beekeeping industry in many ways, including as trustee for the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, as a board member of the National Pollinator Defense Fund and as a past president of the American Beekeeping Federation.
The horticulture industry’s Bee & Pollinator Stewardship Initiative was established in 2014 as a collaboration between the Horticultural Research Institute, AmericanHort, SAF and the American Floral Endowment. Read extensive coverage on the stewardship initiative, its objectives and other industry news about pollinators.
Watch the “Protecting Bees & Pollinators: What Horticulture Needs to Know” video, and read about research that’s being funded by the horticulture industry’s Bee & Pollinator Stewardship Initiative.