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Pollinator Work Continued Last Week

SAF and AmericanHort participated in two important meetings last week focused on the continuing debate about pollinator health.
bee3IR-4, the USDA-funded organization which helps provide EPA with data supporting registration of chemicals for horticulture and other specialty crops, worked with the chemical industry to host a conference on research needs.  Attended by several leading horticultural scientists, along with SAF and AmericanHort, the meeting generated productive dialogue around research needed to answer important questions about our industry’s impact on pollinators and how we can be part of the solution.
A second, day-long meeting was held in Washington with the industry task force guiding the Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative, launched by SAF, AmericanHort, the Horticultural Research Initiative (HRI) and the American Floral Endowment (AFE).  The task force meets nearly every week by conference call, but this week met face-to-face to continue its discussion of research priorities, stewardship practices, partnerships with other groups and public relations efforts. Click here to learn more about the Initiative.
The Initiative has identified an initial research agenda focused on managing pests associated with commonly sold plants from which bees and other pollinators are likely to gather pollen and nectar. Click here to access the request for proposals to fund the first round of research.
Finally, growers were asked last summer to participate in a survey designed to assess the importance of pesticides in plant production.  That survey report, along with another important report designed to show the importance of neonicotinoids in controlling the silverleaf whitefly and other invasive pests in international trade, can be accessed at https://growingmatters.org/studies/.
For more information, contact Lin Schmale at lschmale@safnow.org.