Hope For Pollinators
June 11, 2014
The State Board of Food and Agriculture met recently to hear an update on pollinator issues related to farming and the environment. The meeting brought together academics, agricultural representatives, beekeepers and environmental stakeholders to discuss the current status of pollinators.
“Pollinators are a critical environmental component of our farming system and contribute greatly to the diversity of products that California produces,” said California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross.
Presenters discussed the recent trend in bee decline, naming loss of habitat, the Varroa mite and pesticides as some of the key factors leading to bee loss.
Gordon Wardell, Paramount Farms, told the Board he agreed that pollinators are in crisis, but the good news is that it’s not too late; that we have the tools to make changes to improve the health of bees, specifically through research and tech transfers.
The Almond Board’s Gabriele Ludwig spoke of the research conducted by ABC to improve honey bee health and the outreach to growers to provide best management practices based on this research.
The State Board will submit a letter to Secretary Ross with recommendations for ways to improve the status of native and managed pollinators in California.