One of the most important topics discussed at the Ag Issues Forum was the buzz about bee health and what is being done to address declining bee colonies. One of the panelists was Laurie Adams, executive director of the Pollinator Partnership. Laurie stressed that collaboration between all parties is needed to protect all pollinators, including bees. Listen to my interview with Laurie here: Interview with Laurie Adams, Pollinator Partnership
Also on the panel was Don Parker who deals with integrated pest management for the National Cotton Council. He discussed the importance of farmers working closely with beekeepers who use their land for hives. Parker believes that the varroa mite is the biggest threat to bee colonies right now and he stressed the need for science to lead the discussion when it comes to pollinator health, not politics or personal opinion. Interview with Don Parker, National Cotton Council
Dr. Troy Anderson, Virginia Tech entomologist, was also on the panel. All three panelists agreed that stressers on honey bee population trace back to a variety of sources that include parasites, bacterial diseases, poor nutrition, genetics and pesticides.
You can listen to the entire discussion here. Bayer Ag Issues Pollinator Update Panel
In an effort to further education and collaboration around pollinator health, Bayer CropScience is holding its second annual Bee Care Tour this year, traveling coast-to-coast to create awareness of the vital role of honey bees in sustainable agriculture by establishing a dialogue with growers, beekeepers, researchers and students to discuss the multiple factors affecting honey bee health. They will also be opening a new North American Bee Care Center next month at Bayer’s Research Triangle Park, N.C. headquarters.