This week is National Pollinator Week!

Eleven years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

Find out more about events in your area or what the event is all about at pollinator.org.

NIFA-Supported Researchers are Finding Solutions to Bee Losses

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue declared this week as “National Pollinator Week” to help call attention to these losses, which are caused primarily by biological and environmental stressors. On June 6, Secretary Perdue joined Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, to announce the installation of a honey beehive on the grounds of the Vice President’s residence in Washington, D.C.

NIFA has supported researchers to halt the declining bee population and address the threat it poses to our nation’s long-term agricultural productivity. Through a coordinated effort across USDA and with land-grant university partners, NIFA has funded a number of projects seeking to find solutions. Continue reading

New Resources Released for National Pollinator Week

From Growing Produce

How can growers help bees and ensure they get reliable pollination for their crops? That question is being addressed by the Integrated Crop Pollination Project, which is celebrating National Pollinator Week, June 19-25, by highlighting new training videos, crop pollination fact sheets and series of recorded webinars that are available for farmers.

The Integrated Crop Pollination Project aims to improve the sustainability of specialty crop pollination across the U.S. The project is a partnership of 15 different institutions working to identify how best to achieve effective and economical crop pollination. Continue reading

USDA Invests $6.8 Million for Research and Extension Grants on Pollinator Health

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced seven grants totaling $6.8 million for research and extension projects to sustain healthy populations of pollinators, which are crucial to the nation’s food security and environmental health. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“An estimated $15 billion worth of crops, including more than 90 fruits and vegetables, are pollinated by honey bees alone,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “With the recent declines in pollinator populations owing to various factors, it is imperative that we invest in research to promote pollinator health, reduce honey bee colony losses, and restore pollinator habitats.”  Continue reading

Pollinator Protection Conference

Michigan State University is sponsoring a pollinator protection workshop in the mountains of North Carolina (Asheville area) October 12-14.  Cost $180 registration plus lodging.  This should be an excellent opportunity for anyone wanting to get an overview of the pollinator and insecticide controversies (especially in urban landscapes) currently being debated within and without the entomology community.

See attached preliminary program. Website http://www.ornamentalpollinators.org/registration.html. Speakers include Rufus Isaacs from Michigan State University, David Tarpy from NC State University, Emily Minor from University of Illinois, Jane Memmot from the University of Bristol and more.