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Old 06-20-2014, 05:17 PM   #1
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Default Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

Presidential Memorandum -- Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators | The White House

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Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment. The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.


Pollinator losses have been severe. The number of migrating Monarch butterflies sank to the lowest recorded population level in 2013-14, and there is an imminent risk of failed migration. The continued loss of commercial honey bee colonies poses a threat to the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States, which could have profound implications for agriculture and food. Severe yearly declines create concern that bee colony losses could reach a point from which the commercial pollination industry would not be able to adequately recover. The loss of native bees, which also play a key role in pollination of crops, is much less studied, but many native bee species are believed to be in decline. Scientists believe that bee losses are likely caused by a combination of stressors, including poor bee nutrition, loss of forage lands, parasites, pathogens, lack of genetic diversity, and exposure to pesticides.

Given the breadth, severity, and persistence of pollinator losses, it is critical to expand Federal efforts and take new steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels. These steps should include the development of new public-private partnerships and increased citizen engagement. Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1. Establishing the Pollinator Health Task Force.

Section 2. Mission and Function of the Task Force.

Section 3. Increasing and Improving Pollinator Habitat.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:35 PM   #2
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Wow That is awesome.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:44 PM   #3
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Good to hear. It seems that the need for native plants and sustaining biodiversity (specifically here with pollinators) may finally be becoming part of public awareness and action is being taken (or at least talked about). It seems a long time coming--my interest in this has been ~30 years (since about my mid-teens...if not before).

I definitely think that engaging the general public is the way to go...and, perhaps those of us who are already planting natives and restoring habitats will be joined by many of our neighbors until it becomes the thing to do.

"Poor bee nutrition"...didn't I read something here on WG about how lack of diverse pollen and nectar sources leads to poor nutrition in pollinators?

Also, Gloria posted this Pollinator diversity improves fruit set in coffee. which provides research-based proof and appeals to the economically-if-not-environmentally-minded.

I think we are on our way.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:48 PM   #4
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Probably think of nectar/pollen to bees to eating one species of food. Even the best single food items can't add all the nutrients we need.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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I think the use of herbicides and pesticides has impacted the bees.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rockerBOO View Post
Probably think of nectar/pollen to bees to eating one species of food. Even the best single food items can't add all the nutrients we need.
Exactly. Yet another reason to increase biodiversity of plants in our gardens and landscapes. Not only to provide for a diversity of species, but also because many species cannot survive on just 1 single food item.

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I think the use of herbicides and pesticides has impacted the bees.
Undoubtedly, Ellen. I have noticed a definite decline, especially since round-up ready corn et al. have allowed for a greater and greater use of those poisons.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
Good to hear. It seems that the need for native plants and sustaining biodiversity (specifically here with pollinators) may finally be becoming part of public awareness and action is being taken (or at least talked about). It seems a long time coming--my interest in this has been ~30 years (since about my mid-teens...if not before).

I definitely think that engaging the general public is the way to go...and, perhaps those of us who are already planting natives and restoring habitats will be joined by many of our neighbors until it becomes the thing to do.

"Poor bee nutrition"...didn't I read something here on WG about how lack of diverse pollen and nectar sources leads to poor nutrition in pollinators?

Also, Gloria posted this Pollinator diversity improves fruit set in coffee. which provides research-based proof and appeals to the economically-if-not-environmentally-minded.

I think we are on our way.
It's about time, isn't it? I would love to be involved (thru my job) in pollinator restoration research.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kchd View Post
It's about time, isn't it? I would love to be involved (thru my job) in pollinator restoration research.
yes, long overdue.

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Probably think of nectar/pollen to bees to eating one species of food. Even the best single food items can't add all the nutrients we need.
I knew that sounded familiar.
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Originally Posted by EllenW View Post
I think the use of herbicides and pesticides has impacted the bees.
I agree.
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:59 AM   #9
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I take care of a dog in an adult community nearby. It is chemical land there. They use so many lawn chemicals in search of astro turf grass. I can't even breathe there. There is no place to walk the dog except on this chem grass. That can't possibly be good for the dog. I would like to see the use of those chemicals banned. I believe they are harmful to all living things. This new initiative if definitely a step in the right direction. I'm really happy about that.
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