Excerpts from two reports from two very different organizations released this week…
Organic farming practices help the health and well-being of honey bees and other pollinators, according to a new report by The Organic Center. In a review of 71 studies on the subject of organic practices and their connection to pollinator health, the report found organic farming not only reduced risks to bees, including exposure to synthetic pesticides, but also promoted colony growth.
Research has found a number of factors that could be contributing to such issues as colony collapse disorder. The Organic Center’s report also attributes the decline to several variables, including pesticides, infections, poor nutrition, and habitat loss.
Organic farming may contribute to pollinator health and habitat, the reported stated, because farmers must use management techniques that protect and improve natural resources. The organization is encouraging organic farmers use the report as a management tool.
But, according to the Farm Bureau, the reasons go like this, stated at a California Department of Food and Agriculture Healthy Pollinators Working Group….
“The networking value of a meeting like this is huge,” said Ria de Grassi, California Farm Bureau Federation director of livestock and animal health and welfare. “To right the ship on pollinator decline, we need an all-hands-on-deck strategy involving the bright, influential minds in industry, academia and public service collegially working toward a clear objective.”
Beekeepers, researchers and others point to forage and nutrition, parasites and pathogens, pesticides and genetic diversity as contributing factors to bee decline.
The differences are subtle, but the result is always the same…what is the main reason bees are not healthy…? It depends on who you ask, and how they answer.