Specialty agriculture has an enormous role to play in improving pollinator health. Here is what growers can expect to see from government agencies and industry associations.
Creating our own advocacy is an important tool in areas like presenting science-based knowledge about pollinator health, and informing the public about how growers already preserve natural resources through responsible practices like integrated pest management (IPM), water reclamation and recycling, plastic recycling and sustainability initiatives.
Bachman’s, a wholesale nursery and retail business based in Minnesota, has taken measures to address the steady decline of bees and other pollinators, including eliminating the use of neonicotinoids in some of its own production.
USDA survey shows fewer bee colony losses in United States. The USDA also announces a fall summit on Bee Nutrition and Forage and launches the Bee Watch website.
To demonstrate good environmental stewardship, growers need an understanding of the issues presenting risks to bees and of strategies to minimize the risks. Knowing where to find key product information and how to interpret it can help growers make sound choices regarding the application of effective products.
Try out these new pollinator-friendly varieties the next time you want to attract birds, bees and other beneficial insects to your garden.
Dr. Joe Bischoff, AmericanHort’s director of regulatory and legislative affairs, says it is important that we are informed and prepared to talk about the issue of pesticides, pollinators and the overarching concerns of bee health in a calm and clear manner. This is a topic where emotions can run high, and part of our role should be in explaining the need for balance and scientifically based solutions.
Do your part to promote pollinator-friendly plants in your community through outreach and education.
Teach your community about how much the floriculture industry depends on pollinators and the responsible actions we take to ensure their safety. Listen to consumer concerns, help build bee havens and hotels and promote and plant pollinator-friendly gardens.
The impact of systemic insecticides on bees and other pollinators is not new phenomenon. Kansas State University Entomology Professor Raymond Cloyd says we, as an industry, need to work together to provide unbiased information that is based in sound science.