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Pollinator Week Ends June 23



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As a newspaper that has adopted the most well known pollinator, the bee, as its namesake, it comes as a duty to note to residents that the week of June 17 to 23 is National Pollinator Week.

In a press release, the US Environmental Protection Agency noted that “this year’s proclamation underscores EPA’s commitment to protecting pollinators from pesticides, including through mitigation measures for several pesticides and the upcoming issuance of the final Herbicide Strategy to protect over 900 federally threatened and endangered species, including pollinators.”

With collapses of beehives a national problem, significantly reducing the amount of honey bees, which are necessary pollinators for many human crops, awareness weeks such as National Pollinator Week are of increasing importance to outline the problems faced and the potential solutions. Pollinator species, such as bees, other insects, birds and bats play a critical role in producing more than 100 crops grown in the United States.

“Pollinators are essential to human and ecological survival, with more than 150 food crops depending on pollinators in the United States alone,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “They also help plants reproduce, which in turn helps keep the air we breathe clean, purifies the water we drink, and prevents erosion of the soils, protecting us from climate disasters. Now more than ever, we must act to protect them.”

EPA has taken many steps to address the potential effects of pesticides on pollinators. The agency proposed to register four new pesticide active ingredients that include protections for federally listed threatened or endangered species and for pollinators. EPA has also implemented measures to protect listed species and their critical habitats from the effects of three organophosphate insecticides. Those measures also help to protect pollinators.

This year, EPA expects to finalize the Herbicide Strategy, which will describe whether, how much, and where mitigations are needed to protect listed plant species and those listed species that depend on plants, including pollinators, from agricultural uses of most herbicides. EPA will use this strategy to proactively adopt mitigations as part of the registration of new herbicides and the reevaluation of currently registered herbicides — often years before EPA is required to adopt those mitigations under the Endangered Species Act.

In 2024, EPA also plans to release the first draft of its Insecticide Strategy focused on minimizing impacts to listed insect species, including many pollinators, for most insecticides.

Pollinator protection is everyone’s job. EPA remains committed to protecting pollinators from the effects of pesticides, and will continue working with federal, state, and tribal partners, non-governmental organizations, and the public to support pollinator health and habitat.

Learn more about EPA’s pollinator protection efforts and how you can help pollinators by visiting epa.gov/pollinator-protection.

“Our nation’s farmers depend on a vibrant ecosystem to feed and fuel communities, and pollinators are an important part of that ecosystem,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This week and every week, it is critically important that we protect pollinators and their habitats. Healthy pollinator populations are essential to the continued success and well-being of agricultural producers, rural America and the entire US economy because without them, many of our nation’s crops wouldn’t be able to produce as many fruits, nuts or vegetables.”

USDA supports the critical role pollinators play in our food system through research, data collections, diagnostic services, pollinator health monitoring, pollinator habitat enhancement programs, pollinator health grants, and financial assistance programs. As part of USDA’s commitment, USDA established a Pollinator Subcommittee earlier this year that will identify annual USDA strategic pollinator priorities and will make pollinator health-related recommendations to strengthen USDA pollinator research efforts in support of USDA’s Science and Research Strategy.

USDA is keen to understand the collective set of stressors that impact pollinators, including pests and pathogens; pollinator habitat; and climate change. This requires that we better understand pollinator needs around climate adaptation and the entire agricultural ecosystem.

Learn more about USDA pollinator work at usda.gov/pollinators.

The Newtown Bee is happy to see protection efforts for bees and other pollinators from organizations such as the EPA and USDA. Hopefully such efforts can lead to conservation of those important species.

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