Best management practices for bee health released Email
Colorado Green NOW
Written by The Horticultural Research Institute   
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 01:00 AM

 

BMPs for pollinator healthThis year, The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), the research foundation of AmericanHort, released Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Bee Health in the Horticultural Industry. The BMPs inform horticultural professionals, including landscape companies, about the green industry’s impact on bee health and help them understand their role in pollinator health.

HRI, in collaboration with AmericanHort, funds and leverages research to refine science-based guidance on horticultural practices and protecting bee and pollinator health. As part of the broad-based Horticulture Industry Bee & Pollinator Stewardship Initiative that includes industry and consumer outreach and the establishment of industry best practices, HRI has directly funded four important research projects, launched the Grow Wise, Bee Smart website, and joined the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge campaign.

Jon Reelhorn, HRI President, states, "We are pleased to have developed a set of BMPs that offer specific guidance to the industry to refine their stewardship role in bee health."

Pollinators as a whole encompass a diverse population of thousands of different species, such as managed honey bees, wild bees, butterflies, birds, and bats. Protection of pollinators in general, especially bees, continues to be a major concern among the general public and within the green industry. Several culprits have been identified as factors contributing to managed honey bee losses, including Varroa mites, other pests/diseases of bees, loss of habitat and nutrition, and off-target effects of pesticides. Alternatively, wild, unmanaged bee populations are most greatly affected by landscape changes and habitat degradation.

HRI developed the BMPs, which cover greenhouse and nursery production, woody ornamentals, and managed landscapes, with the assistance of researchers and apiarists throughout North America. Updates to these recommendations will be made as additional research results regarding bee and pollinator health are released.

To download the full Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Bee Health in the Horticultural Industry, visit http://growwise.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/HRI-Pollinator-BMPs-January2017.pdf. 

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
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Volunteers build an outdoor learning lab in ALCC Southern Chapter
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