There is widespread concern about decline in bee populations and the effect of pesticides on bees. Most berry farmers are aware of the important role bees play in their berry crops and in agriculture in general — and also aware of how important pesticides can be to assuring that they have high quality, marketable crops. Most recently, heated controversy about the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in particular has been playing out in the media.
Below are a number of links, from various sources and of various points of view, that growers may find useful in both their conversations and their farm practices.
In a fight between environmentalists and farmers, the bees lose. And that stings.The Washington Post, August 28, 2016. The article tries to find a middle ground.
New Study Shows Neonicotinoids Pose Little Practical Risk To Bees Reports on a study at Washington State University
Sub-lethal exposure to neonicotinoids impaired honey bees winterization before proceeding to colony collapse disorder – Bulletin of Insectology, 2014. A study by Harvard researchers.
Facts about Honey Bees Source unknown.
Facts in Evidence:_March2016 From California Citrus Mutual. A collection of links to other articles.
Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees? A Review of Research into the Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Bees, with Recommendations for Action. By the Xerces Society, an international conservation organization focusing on invertebrates
Pollinator Research Action Plan May, 2015. Report of the President’s Pollinator Health Task Force.
Announcing New Steps to Promote Pollinator Health Summary of the White House initiative (above). includes additional links.
Protecting Bees and Other Pollinators from Pesticides – EPA umbrella page for pollinator issues with links to additional resources
Fact Sheets and Extension Bulletins on Pesticides and Bees
- Minimizing Pesticide Risk to Bees in Fruit Crops From Michigan State University. Comprehensive 16-page publication.
- How to Protect Honeybees from Pesticides. From Clemion University. Includes list of pesticides grouped by toxicity to bees
- How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides From Oregon State University. Info about an online publication and a new smart phone app to help farmers protect bees.
- 10 Ways to Protect Bees from Pesticides From Washington State Dept. of Agriculture
- Poor Pollination in Raspberries. Blog post form 2010 by Mark Bolda, University of California crop adviser.