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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 12:17 pm 
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This week the White House released the first National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. First, let’s take a look at what it says:

The goals:
1) Reduce honey bee colony losses during winter.
2) Increase the population of monarch butterflies.
3) Restore and enhance 7 million acres of land for pollinators over the next five years.

All of this requires, obviously, money. The President’s budget for 2016 includes more than $82 million in funding that will be specifically targeted to address pollinator health through various agencies. (Compare that to $34 million in 2014.) That includes additional research funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the USDA.

Research & Habitat
The pollinator strategy is 58 pages, plus there are additional best management practices and plans. That's a lot to cover, but here are a few of the action plans that the national strategy outlines to achieve the goals above.

A Pollinator Research Action Plan to support more scientific research to understand and recover from pollinator losses. This includes additional studies assessing stressors that lead to species decline.

Pollinator Best Management Practices for federal buildings and landscapes.
Establishing best practices for pollinator habitats along roadsides.
Increasing habitat quantity and quality at federally managed facilities.

A National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration to create a seed bank of plants that will support restoration efforts. This includes working with the private sector to increase the availability of pollinator-friendly native species.

Working with the private sector to improve pollinator habitat on lands not managed by the federal government.

Public education and outreach efforts, including a campaign for National Pollinator Week, June 15-21.

Pesticides
The national pollinator strategy addresses the issue of pesticides, in depth, on pages 47-52. It notes that the EPA has been tasked with assessing “the effects of pesticides, including neonicotinoid insecticides, on the health of bees and other pollinators, and to take appropriate actions to protect pollinators.” This includes:

Implementing tiered, “harmonized guidance” for assessing the risks posed by pesticides to bees.”
Developing new guidelines for chronic toxicity testing with adult bees, bee larvae, and other insect pollinators.
The EPA speeding up their re-evaluation of the neonicotinoid family of pesticides to meet a 2015-2017 schedule. The report states that companies with outdoor-use neonicotinoid registrations have been notified that new uses of those chemicals are unlikely to be approved until new bee data are submitted and pollinator risk assessments are complete. Once these are available, “EPA will be able to make stronger and more scientifically reliable regulatory decisions on their uses.”
The EPA assessing other pesticides for potential pollinator impacts.
The EPA proposing prohibiting foliar applications of acutely toxic products during bloom time on sites that have contracted commercial bees on site.
Finalizing the assessment of neonicotinoid seed treatments on soybeans by fall 2015.
Guidelines for reporting bee mortality incidents.
An effort to protect milkweed, a crucial plant species for monarch butterflies, including protecting it from the effects of herbicides.
Expedited review of Varroa mite control products.

Response
But not everyone was happy with the contents of the strategy. Groups that had been lobbying for a ban on neonicotinoids expressed disapproval.

Friends of the Earth Food Lisa Archer said: “President Obama’s National Pollinator Health Strategy misses the mark by not adequately addressing the pesticides as a key driver of unsustainable losses of bees and other pollinators essential to our food system."

“Cancel the registrations of all systemic, persistent pesticides, including neonicotinoids, for all uses that pose a risk to pollinators, beginning with unnecessary uses (such as seed treatments and cosmetic applications) and uses for which alternatives exist.”


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 8:33 pm 
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NPP sounds like: do a lot of research; host a lot of conferences; spend a lot of government money; use up a lot of time...
...and that is about all.

What do you think? of doing this:

Have Beekeepers or Beekeeper's Associations create dedicated home-base/bee hospitals.
  • They need to be "Organic Beegardens".
  • They need to be a patch of land fertilized only with organic/natural fertilizers.
  • They need to be planted with huge clumps of native wild flowers.
  • They need to be hedged with honeysuckle or something like it.
  • The commercial hives need to spend two weeks out of six, healing up in their home base Organic Beegarden.
  • The hives need to keep all the honey they make while in their home base for their own nourishment.

I floated a version of this notion in another thread.


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