White House Releases Federal Pollinator Health Strategy
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House released its Federal Pollinator Health Strategy created by a Pollinator Health Task Force it established in June 2014 in response to the serious decline of pollinator populations in the United States and around the world.
The White House report takes a fairly balanced view on the causes of reduced pollinator numbers. The science suggests multiple factors for the decline in bee health, including parasites, diet and nutrition, lack of genetic diversity, habitat loss, beekeeping practices, weather and disease.
The report lays out three overarching goals:
1. Honey Bees - Reduce honey bee colony losses during winter (overwintering mortality) to no more than 15% within 10 years. This goal is informed by the previously released Bee Informed Partnership surveys and the newly established quarterly and annual surveys by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Based on the robust data anticipated from the national, statistically-based NASS surveys of beekeepers, the Task Force will develop baseline data and additional goal metrics for winter, summer and total annual colony loss.
2. Monarch Butterflies - Increase the eastern population of the monarch butterfly to 225 million butterflies occupying an area of approximately 15 acres (6 hectares) in the overwintering grounds in Mexico, through domestic/international actions and public-private partnerships, by 2020.
3. Pollinator Habitat Acreage - Restore or enhance 7 million acres of land for pollinators over the next 5 years through federal actions and public/private partnerships.
The plan also discusses pesticide-specific provisions that the Environmental Protection Agency has taken or plans to take to protect pollinators from exposure to pesticides, but does not recommend banning any specific pesticides.
Click here to download a copy of the report.