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.

Tips for dealing with carpenter bees

By Wade Hutcheson, University of Georgia

We used to try to hit them with baseball bats. A tennis racket would have been a better choice, but there were no tennis courts on our farm.

We would also catch them going into their holes, plug the hole and listen to their angry reply. Carpenter bees were a lot of fun for growing boys. Continue reading

North Carolina bee expert demonstrates queen bee health on Capitol Hill

As Congress considers the Farm Bill and agricultural appropriations, agricultural researchers from a variety of disciplines are updating Congressional members and staff on research covering current challenges and emerging threats in agriculture, food and natural resources.

David Tarpy, CALS professor of entomology and Extension apiculturist, is participating in a national exhibition in Washington, D.C., on June 6 to help demonstrate how multiple types of U.S. Department of Agriculture funding (intramural, extramural, competitive and capacity) work together to bolster American innovation. Continue reading

Trees for Bees: Pollinator Habitats in Urban Forests

You are invited to attend the latest Live Webinar sponsored by: Southern Regional Extension Forestry.

Title: Trees for Bees: Pollinator Habitats in Urban Forests Continue reading

EU proposes action on bees & pesticides

Today, EU Member States did not reach a qualified majority – either in favour or against – in the Appeal Committee1 which discussed a Commission proposal to restrict the use of 3 neonicotinoid insecticides.

Tonio Borg, Health and Consumer Commissioner, said: “Although a majority of Member States now supports our proposal, the necessary qualified majority was not reached. The decision now lies with the Commission. Since our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the European Food Safety Authority, the Commission will go ahead with its text in the coming weeks.” To conclude: “I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion annually to European agriculture, are protected.” Continue reading

Feed a Bee program grows grant initiatives

The Bayer Bee Care Program has announced $250,000 in additional funding to support its Feed a Bee 50-state pollinator health initiative through the end of the year. With only three grant cycles remaining in 2018, and the initial $500,000 funding already pledged to projects in 45 of the 50-state goal, the funding boost aims to encourage additional entries nationally and to reach organizations in the five states that have yet to be funded: Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Wyoming. The latest round of funding awarded grants to 14 new projects committed to providing diverse forage and habitat for honey bees and other important pollinators.

Established in early 2017, the Feed a Bee 50-state forage initiative was created to fund projects nationally that either establish or restore diverse forage options for pollinators, which in turn help produce many of the fruits, nuts and vegetables essential to a healthy human diet. Nearly 300 organizations have applied for an award, which are selected by the Feed a Bee steering committee and range from $1,000 to $5,000 each. Continue reading

Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute supporting statewide pollinator initiative

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, or NRI, has partnered with other organizations to promote statewide land stewardship relating to pollinators.    

“Soil and Water Stewardship Week is from April 28 through May 6 this year,” said NRI associate director Dr. Jim Cathey. “Like-minded organizations are collaborating to bring awareness to the importance of voluntary land stewardship in Texas through a statewide campaign emphasizing the role of pollinators in the environment.” Continue reading