Agricultural Retailers Association praises White House's pollinator strategy

A presidential task force has released a National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators. | Courtesy of

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) praised the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators after President Obama's Pollinator Health Task Force released it on Thursday.

The accompanying Pollinator Research Action Plan does not indicate a single cause or factor in reported bee-population declines, but indicates a correlation between the parasitic Varroa mite and sharp declines in bee colony populations. It also indicated limited access to sufficient forage areas and nutrition as a pollinator health factor.

"ARA and our members understand the importance of pollinators in growing crops and sustaining plant life," Richard Gupton, senior vice president of Public Policy for ARA, said. "We applaud President Obama and members of the Pollinator Health Task Force for also recognizing that pesticides play a critical part in agricultural production and the health of our society."

The president's plan calls for dedicated pollination habitats and increased communication among farmers, beekeepers and custom applicators of pesticides, as well as increased education and outreach programs, and better pesticide usage and management practices.

"ARA looks forward to working with the Obama administration and (Honey Bee Health Coalition) members to develop and promote science-based, collaborative proposals that improve honeybee and other pollinator health and an American agricultural industry that is economically and environmentally sustainable," Gupton said.

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Agricultural Retailers Association 1156 15th St NW Washington, DC 20005

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