|Farmers and beekeepers are partners in supporting productive agriculture. That’s why the Honey Bee Health Coalition is working across sectors to develop the tools and resources farmers and beekeepers need to protect pollinators and ensure honey bees thrive in agricultural landscapes.
Read on for Coalition updates and don’t forget to visit our website for resources to manage varroa mites, protect pollinators from incidental pesticide exposure, plant forage, and partner with other agricultural stakeholders to implement an integrated approach to pollinator health.
You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we post about pollinators and share resources we’ve developed to help them.
Bees on Public Lands
Public lands – including those managed by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and other federal agencies – provide hundreds of millions of acres of habitat for managed and native pollinators nationwide. Beekeepers rely on access to public and private lands to provide nutrition for their honey bee colonies that, in turn, ensure successful crop pollination and production.
A July 2020 petition to the USFS by Center for Biological Diversity, Xerces Society and others has heightened debate regarding permitting of honey bee apiaries and the interactions of honey bees with native pollinators. The Honey Bee Health Coalition has developed a briefing paper to ensure awareness of the subject and to provide background on past Coalition conversations on this topic, information about member-led responses to the petition, considerations and key messages, and a sampling of relevant scientific resources. The Coalition also organized a sign-on letter to the USDA and USFS underscoring the importance of public lands for honey bees.
USDA/EPA Pollinator State of the Science Workshop
In September 2020, many Coalition members participated in the Pollinator State of the Science Workshop co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Workshop served as a stakeholder forum to discuss science and research priorities related to pollinators in agriculture, and to inform federal suggestions on research priorities and goals. Coalition members look forward to seeing USDA’s upcoming report on research priorities and to championing such research.
ICYMI: Hive Treatments Made Easy
There is a lot of misguided information out there on treating hive pests and disease. Using unregistered treatments — or registered treatments not in accordance with their label instructions — is not only illegal, it could also hurt you and your bees. Plus, it could mean hive pests and diseases become resistant to the tools beekeepers rely on.
That’s why the Honey Bee Health Coalition released two one-page guides, one for the U.S. and one for Canada, that list all the current, legal, registered products that effectively control the most common hive pests and disease. These include American and European foulbrood, nosema, small hive beetles, tracheal mites, varroa mites, and wax moths.
Looking ahead to 2021
The Coalition is looking forward to launching variety of new resources, demonstration projects, and cross-sector dialogues in 2021 on topics of pollinator habitat, crop pest management, and hive pest and disease management. Please stay tuned for more soon, and in the meantime have a happy and healthy holiday season.