Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding has introduced a new report intended to support healthy pollinator populations, the Pennsylvania Pollinator Protection Plan. The report represents a collaborative effort by state officials, researchers, farmers, beekeepers, and the public. The first four chapters provide an introduction and overview of the problem with pollinator health, as well as best practices to improve forage and habitat conditions, pesticide use, and management decisions by beekeepers. The fifth chapter provides recommendations for research, policy, communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and metrics against which the plan's effectiveness can be measured. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State determined that Pennsylvania growers gain more than $250 million in fruit and vegetable production due to increased yield as a result of pollination from insects, and an additional $9 million in value from crops where pollination produces seeds. However, the number of managed honey bee colonies in Pennsylvania has declined more than 60% over the past 70 years.
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