CLA Continues to Work Toward Pollinator Health Solutions with Partners From Across the Agriculture Community

WASHINGTON, DC – This week is designated National Pollinator Week, giving organizations and government agencies the opportunity to educate the public on the important role pollinators play in our agricultural system. CropLife America (CLA) has been working with key stakeholders engaged in improving pollinator health for more than a decade. In contrast, steps taken recently by the Keep the Hives Alive Tour have raised concerns and complaints from across the agriculture community.

Bringing together diverse groups with a variety of interests and perspectives is central to the mission of the Honey Bee Health Coalition (HBHC). The coalition’s focus is to identify joint solutions to the many challenges facing honey bees. Members of the HBHC, including CLA, welcome and encourage all interested parties to share differences of opinion in open dialogue on critical issues for bee health, including issues related to crop pesticides. Threats to pollinators also include poor bee nutrition, loss of forage lands, parasites, pathogens and lack of genetic diversity.

“CLA recognizes that bee health is a complex issue and that all stakeholders have a role to play in positively contributing toward pollinator prosperity,” stated Jay Vroom, CLA president and CEO. “It is critically important that all who claim to care about bee health commit to understanding every factor related to bee health, with an intent to find shared solutions and create opportunities for improvement, rather than simply assigning blame to a single area of concern in pursuit of single focused political goals.”

Research and field studies have consistently found no unreasonable adverse effects on both wild and managed bee populations when pesticides are applied according to label directions. The crop protection industry promotes sound stewardship practices in crop protection product usage, and CLA will continue to work with growers, beekeepers, regulators and other stakeholders to support bee health through the HBHC and other avenues.

CLA believes that strong communication among farmers, pesticide applicators, and beekeepers is integral to coexistence of pollinators and production agriculture, and to identifying issues related to pollinator health. Collaboration at the local level leads to solutions that promote bee health, positively impact pollination services, and facilitate crop production and protection. Through increased communication between beekeepers and growers at the local level, stakeholders can develop solutions that work in their specific areas rather than seeking intensive nationwide policy changes.

CLA also supports the public television series America’s Heartland in hosting broadcast programming and online educational resources that highlight the connection between pollinators and agriculture.

For more information on crop protection technology stewardship practices, download The Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship, jointly produced by the American Seed Trade Association and CLA along with several grower organizations. Read more about pollinator health and the crop protection industry on CLA’s website.

Michael Leary