WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA), the Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture, introduced legislation that would require the federal agencies to take greater action to deal with some of the parasite and disease factors impacting the health of managed bees, specifically focusing on Varroa mites.
The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency to expedite the approval of treatments for parasitic pests of bee colonies. Also, the USDA would be expected to provide a report on the pathological and environmental factors impacting managed pollinator bees.
According to the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, there are many factors negatively impacting bee health, including the destructive Varroa mite (first found in the U.S. in 1987), viral and fungal pathogens, loss of habitat and forage, poor nutrition, and pesticides. This bill tackles one of the major factors negatively impacting bee health. While it will not completely fix the problem, it is an important step and we encourage Congress to take action.
Please click below and ask your representative in Congress to support this legislation and encourage them to look for additional opportunities to support horticulture and beekeepers in addressing bee health.