Pollinator Health Bees and other pollinator populations are declining, yet they are vital for the food supply.
Pollinators are declining rapidly due to a number of factors, including loss of habitat, loss of forage and pesticides. Some pollinators such as bumblebees and Monarch butterflies may be on the verge of extinction. Many states have enacted or are considering legislation to acquire, restore and/or protect pollinator habitat, as well as to restrict the application of pesticides and other chemicals that are harmful to pollinators.
Pollinators are critical for productive agricultural crops, although one-third of bees have disappeared in the U.S. since 2006. The term pollinator also includes butterflies, bats and certain birds.
Pollinators are essential to at least one-third of the crops grown for human consumption.
In 2015-2016 alone, 44% of honeybee populations in the United States died in one season. In some states such as Maryland losses exceeded 60%.
Pollinators are responsible for between $235 and $577 billion in crops produced worldwide.
States have taken several approaches to protect pollinators, including habitat restoration, funding for pollinator protection, education and study, and pesticide restrictions. At least 17 states have bills to increase pollinator protection and awareness in the 2017 session.
A list of sample state strategies and associated legislation is available here.
Science and Reports
The briefing book includes a concise fact sheet, examples of state legislative strategies, an FAQ page, and a list of current legislation.Download
Download the NCEL Fact Sheet with key points and links to legislation.Download
This resource page offers introductory information about pollinators as well as best practices for management, planting, and home gardening.
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This website offers regional information on pollinator conservation resources, such as pollinator plants, conservation guides, and policy examples.
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National Pollinator Health Strategy to Promote Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators -- White House, 2015
This strategy report from the Pollinator Task Force outlines a comprehensive approach to tackling and reducing the impact of multiple stressors on pollinator health, including pests and pathogens, reduced habitat, lackDownload
of nutritional resources, and exposure to pesticides.
This document serves as a guide for land managers to effectively and efficiently use available resources and engage public and private partnerships in taking action for the conservation and management of pollinators and pollinator habitat on federal lands.Download
NCSL developed a collection of pollinator resources including state and federal actions.Read More
This report reviews research on neonicotinoids in addition to highlighting knowledge gaps and research needs. Recommendations for protecting bees are also included.Read More
A new study published in the journal Science links neonicotinoid usage with fewer queen bees as well as trouble surviving the winter for both honey bees and wild bee populations. There have been mixed lab-based studies on the impact of neonicotinoids, and this study sought to investigate real-world impacts across 33 field sites in Europe. […]
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed a new program to help agricultural producers inform consumers that they are farming in a way that benefits bees. From the press release: Funded by a grant from the USDA, the Xerces Society partnered with Oregon Tilth to develop and launch the Bee Better Certified program. The […]
Sample news story 9ee4f0 etc A relatively new class of insecticide called neonicotinoids has been linked to pollinator decline worldwide. Numerous studies demonstrate that neonicotinoids pose a threat to bee populations in particular. Scientists recognize that other factors such as disease and lack of flowers also contribute to the decline, and that banning these products alone will […]