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The Importance of Pollinator Health

bee getting ready to pollinate a flowerLast year, Oregon pest management professionals reported the sudden death of 50,000 bees—about 300 colonies—in the Wilsonville area and a similar incident in Hillsboro after spraying insecticides containing imidacloprid and dinotefuran in trees. Bee populations nationwide decline between 23 and 34 percent every year. In response to these and other incidents, agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Pest Management Association (NMPA), the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) and state Departments of Agriculture are developing new standards regarding pesticide use and their application.

Protecting Pollinator Health

Pollinator health is vital to the overall health of the world’s ecosystems and food supply chain. In addition to bees, important pollinators include moths, flies and butterflies. Scientists attribute the losses in pollinating insects to parasites, viruses, fungal diseases, weather, poor nutrition, less access to places to forage and pesticides. The NPMA is collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and other interested parties to help communicate that the roles that pollinators serve in agriculture are essential to public safety.

The EPA recently revised the labels on neonicotinoid pesticides to state that their application is prohibited where bees are present. The changes apply to pesticides that contain dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiamethoxan and clothianidin.

In August 2014, the NPMA launched PollinatorHealth.org. The site serves as a resource for integrated pest management professionals, consumers, educations and the media about the dangers that pollinators face, pollinator health and the importance of protecting them using green pest control.

Pollinator Protection Tips from Oregon and Washington Pest Management Experts

Integrated pest management professionals recommend avoiding the use of harmful chemicals outdoors because they pose health risks to pollinators and the environment. Instead, use green pest control solutions, such as landscape maintenance practices and planting insect-repelling plants. If you have a problem with pollinating pests, like bees, get in touch with the pest management experts at Eden Pest. Their technicians are trained to safely remove bees in a manner that won’t harm them.

[ Photo by: udithawix, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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