Pollinator Health Tag

A study in the United Kingdom, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, found that there were up to 70% fewer pollinators, up to 90% fewer flower visits, and an overall pollination reduction of up to 31% in test plants when common ground-level air pollutants, including diesel exhaust pollutants and ozone, were present. The study used pollution concentrations well below maximum average levels, equating to 40 to 50% of the limits currently defined by U.S. law as safe for the environment. Dr. Robbie Girling at the University of Reading, who led the project, said, "We knew from our previous lab studies...

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that interest in veterinary medicine for honeybees is growing in the United States. For example, veterinary students at Michigan State University are offered a three-week elective course on the subject, and a new textbook, Honey Bee Medicine for the Veterinary Practitioner, was published in 2021. In addition, there's a Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium, a nonprofit organization formed with the purpose of training veterinarians in honeybee medicine. Its website offers resources for veterinarians, and the group is developing a certification course for veterinarians that will require 150 hours of training in honeybee medicine....

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the award of 10 grants totaling $6 million for Pollinator Health research to sustain healthy populations of pollinators, which are crucial to the nation's food security and environmental health. NIFA noted that pollinators play a vital role in the production of healthy crops for food, fiber, and other agricultural uses. Pollinator health projects address the current problem of declining populations of managed and wild pollinators, such as bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, and bats. These grants are a part of NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program....

An agroecologist at the University of Göttingen published an article in One Earth, pointing out that encouraging pollinators is a particularly important way for smallholder farmers to increase agricultural yields. Better pollination services not only increase the amount of fruit that crops produce but can also increase the nutrient content and improve storage life, according to Professor Teja Tscharntke. He recommends restoring agricultural landscapes for ecosystem services. "Pollination services in agriculture should be given more attention, in addition to pest regulation and good nutrient supply."...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Mike Lewis sits down with Dr. Tom Webster from Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Services to talk about the role pollinators play in farm ecosystems, how to attract more pollinators, and how to protect them when they arrive. It all comes down to planning, and Dr. Webster offers some great strategies for increasing pollinator health and diversity on your farm. ATTRA Resources: A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees Contact Mike Lewis via email at mikel@ncat.org. Please complete a brief survey to let us know...