Bees and other pollinators play a critical role in the lifecycle of millions of plants, including those we rely on for food—one of every three bites of food relies on cross-pollination by a bee, moth, fly, hummingbird or other pollinator.
As homeowners using pesticides, or as licensed pesticide applicators, we all share responsibility for protecting pollinators from risks associated with pesticide use. There are steps that all of us can take, including reading more about pesticides and pollinators; following best management practices (BMPs); and always reading and following the label. As part of the EPA’s campaign to encourage pollinator health, they’ve added more pollinator-specific language to pesticide labels, so if you have products with old labels, check out a new version on-line. Other useful information on pollinator protection may be found below.
Pollinator Health and Safety Conference
On November 20, 2014 the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry co-sponsored the Pollinator Health and Safety Conference to bring together farmers, bee-keepers, entomologists, policy-makers and others interested in protecting pollinators.
Conference Presentations listed below.
- EPA Pollinator Protection Page
- Pesticide Applicator BMPs—Pesticide Environmental Stewardship
- Managed Pollinator Coordinated Agricultural Project—University of Georgia
- Report on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health [PDF] —National Honey Bee Health Stakeholder Conference Steering Committee
- Risks of neonicotinoid Insecticides to Honeybees [PDF]—Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, April 2014
- EPA is Advancing Pollinator Science and Sharing Useful Information with Growers and Beekeepers, June 2014 [link]
- Pollinator Protection: How Pesticide Applicators can Reduce the Risks [PPT or PDF]—Includes information about new label requirements
- Pollinators and CCD [PPT or PDF]
*All PDF files*
- Factors Affecting Bee Mortality in the US - John Skinner - U-Tenn
- Factors Affecting Bee Mortality in Maine Agriculture - Tony Jadczak - MDACF
- Status of Native Maine Pollinators - Frank Drummond - U-Maine
- Pesticide Risks - Nancy Ostiguy - Penn State
- Use Patterns for Neonics and Other Pesticides in Maine - Henry Jennings - MBPC
- Best Management Practices for Pollinator Safety - David Epstein - USDA
- Pollinator Protection: Overview of Ongoing EPA Efforts - Robert Koethe - EPA