Honey Bee Health Coalition Task Force Strategy Response

Honey Bee Health Coalition/Keystone Policy Center By Julie Shapiro   May 19, 2015

[Keystone, Colorado, May 19, 2015] – The Honey Bee Health Coalition applauded the announcement of the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators and the accompanying Pollinator Research Action Plan, released today by President Barack Obama’s Pollinator Health Task Force.  The Strategy represents a critical step in improving the health of honey bees and other pollinators that support billions of dollars annually in U.S. and Canadian agriculture. The Strategy sets clear goals for pollinator health that underscore the importance of the Honey Bee Health Coalition’s ongoing work.  The Honey Bee Health Coalition commends the Task Force for its emphasis on public-private partnerships to improve pollinator health and stands ready to provide coordination and leadership.  The Strategy specifically cites the Coalition as an example of a public-private partnership and vehicle for collaboration, outreach, and education.

“The Strategy released by the National Pollinator Health Task Force underscore the importance of pollinator health for agriculture and the environment,” said George Hansen, a commercial beekeeper, past president of the American Beekeeping Federation, and a member of the Coalition’s Steering Committee. “As one of the largest and most diverse public-private partnerships already working to address honey bee health across agriculture, the Honey Bee Health Coalition is eager and ready to support the implementation of the Strategy.  In fact, the Coalition is already working to advance collaborative solutions and is poised to drive commitments and positive impacts on the ground.”

Agriculture, healthy lifestyles, and worldwide food security rely on honey bee health.  The Honey Bee Health Coalition works at the intersection of honey bee health and agriculture...

Read more... http://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/honey-bee-health-coalition-task-force-strategy-response/

Feds Propose Multi-Pronged Plan to Bolster Decline in Bees

 Washington AP  By Seth Borenstein  May 19, 2015

The Obama administration hopes to save the bees by feeding them better.

A new federal plan aims to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides.

While putting different type of landscapes along highways, federal housing projects and elsewhere may not sound like much in terms of action, several bee scientists told The Associated Press that this a huge move. They say it may help pollinators that are starving because so much of the American landscape has been converted to lawns and corn that don't provide foraging areas for bees.

"This is the first time I've seen addressed the issue that there's nothing for pollinators to eat," said University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum, who buttonholed President Barack Obama about bees when she received her National Medal of Science award last November. "I think it's brilliant."

Environmental activists who wanted a ban on a much-criticized class of pesticide said the Obama administration's bee strategy falls way short of what's needed to save the hives.

Scientists say bees — crucial to pollinate many crops...

Read more... http://bigstory.ap.org/urn:publicid:ap.org:47cb73a9e22e49b2a101ce4de981499b

White House Bee Strategy: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/Pollinator%20Health%20Strategy%202015.pdf