CLA continues effort to improve pollinator health through key partnerships within the agriculture community

For over a decade, CropLife America (CLA) has continuously worked with key stakeholders across the agricultural industry engaged in improving the health of pollinators, yet initiatives taken by the Keep the Hives Alive Tour have sparked some concern with the agriculture community.

As a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition (HBHC), CLA, along with nearly 40 other organizations, aims to find solutions to the wide range of challenges honey bees face and encourage open dialogue between parties with varying opinions on crucial issues concerning bee health, including issues related to crop pesticides, 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,” Jay Vroom, CLA president and CEO, said. “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.”

CLA relies on research and field studies that have consistently found that pesticides applied according to label instructions pose “no unreasonable adverse effects on both wild and managed bee populations.”

HBHC brings beekeepers, researchers, government agencies, agribusinesses, growers, conservation groups, manufacturers and consumer brands, and other key partners together to improve the health of honey bees in general and around production agriculture in particular.

According to HBHC’s 2014 Bee Healthy Roadmap, one-third of global food production volume relies on pollinators to some degree.

“In 2009 alone, honey bees directly supported $11.7 billion of crops in the U.S,” HBHC stated. “In Canada, the value of honey bee pollination for crop production is estimated at $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion annually.”

Given the dependence of agriculture on honey bees, HBHC endeavors to make the best tools, techniques, and technologies available to beekeepers to increase their ability to manage their hives; ensure honey bees have access to a varied and nutritious diet; control crop pests without compromising pollinator health; and work together to improve honey bee health.

“Knowing that the coalition can’t improve honey bee health on its own, this Roadmap lays out specific priorities and actions the coalition, its members, and other stakeholders can take to improve honey bee health,” the coalition stated.

HBHC also aims to develop and execute an outreach strategy to raise awareness and promote cooperation among critical players in the food chain and the public at large through programs that accelerate understanding and collaboration on issues affecting honey bees and other pollinators.

Organizations in this story

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