House Adds Honey Bee and Pollinator Protections to Farm Bill
June 21, 2013
Center for Food Safety applauds the passage of a pollinator
protection amendment Wednesday that was offered by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
to the Farm Bill currently being considered by the U.S. House of
Representatives, a fitting and positive development during National Pollinator
worldwide have seen record losses of pollinators this year.
bees and other pollinators have been suffering record-high population losses,”
said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety.
"Pollinators are vitally important to agriculture and are an integral part of
food production. These critical species are at the front lines of pesticide
exposure and it is high time that the government do more to protect them.”
Hastings amendment, which passed 273-149 with 81 Republicans and 192 Democrats voting
in favor, seeks to better improve federal coordination in addressing the
dramatic decline of managed and native pollinators as well as direct the
government to regularly monitor and report on the health of pollinators
including bees, birds, bats and other beneficial insects. Read More
International Trade Today_________________
Honey Provisions in Senate Customs Bill
Create Buzz Among Industry, Despite Concerns About Cost, Impact
In the sticky
world of honey shipments - where antidumping cases can span decades, criminal investigations
can topple major suppliers and faulty testing can quash a court case - industry
stakeholders are hoping a provision in the Senate customs reauthorization bill will
bring sweet relief. Tucked at the end of S-662, it aims to prevent honey transshipment
by requiring CBP to create a honey characteristic database and report to Congress
on honey testing
capabilities. It also
encourages the Food and Drug Administration to promptly create standard of identity
for honey. A House Ways and Means Committee
spokesperson said they are studying the provision for possible inclusion in a House
would be "at least another tool in the toolbox as far as CBP being able to
seize honey, seize illegal shipments," said Mark Jenkins*, chair of the American
Honey Producers Association (AHPA) legislative committee. The group has been working
on S-662 with the office of Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the bill's sponsors.
The database, as outlined in the bill, would compile individual characteristics
of foreign honey, "to facilitate the verification of country of origin markings
of imported honey" (read S-662 here). CBP would be required to consult with
industry groups, the FDA and foreign customs agencies when building the database.
*NOTE-Mark "Jenkins" in this article is Mark Jensen, chair of the American
Honey Producers Association Legislative Committee
CATCH THE BUZZ
Pollinators Protected, at least in the
By Kim Flottum
pollinator protection amendment passed yesterday that was offered by
Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) to the Farm Bill currently being considered
by the U.S. House of Representatives, a fitting and positive development during
National Pollinator Week.
"Honey bees and other pollinators have been suffering record-high population
losses, and we all know pollinators are vitally important to agriculture and
are an integral part of food production. These critical species are at
the front lines of pesticide exposure and it is high time that the government
do more to protect them.” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center
for Food Safety.
The Hastings amendment, which passed 273-149 with 81 Republicans and 192
Democrats voting in favor, seeks to better improve federal coordination in
addressing the dramatic decline of managed and native pollinators as well as
direct the government to regularly monitor and report on the health of
pollinators including bees, birds, bats and other beneficial insects.
the United States, pollination contributes to $20-30 billion in agricultural
production annually.In North America, honey bees pollinate nearly
95 kinds of fruits, including many specialty crops like almonds, avocados,
cranberries, oranges and apples.
"This year has shown the highest
honey bee losses since colony collapse began; it is a clear message that
we need to do more to protect pollinators. The Hastings amendment is a
much needed win for pollinators everywhere and we hope it compels the
government to do more to protect these vital species,” added Kimbrell.
this month, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) filed a nearly identical amendment to
the Senate Farm Bill but it was not voted on prior to the Senate passing its
bill. The House has yet to vote on final passage of the bill, which is expected
to come early next week. The Center is confident that the Senate will
support the pollinator protection language when the two bills go to conference.
Message From Our President, Randy Verhoek
New Money for Pesticide Research
As you will recall Executive Board members of the AHPA descended
upon Washington, DC several weeks ago and laid the cards on the table, so to
speak, concerning the state of the bee industry. Bret Adee and I followed up
with more meetings 10 days later. Our message was loud, clear and to the point.
"The bee industry is in real trouble and if we are to survive we need research
money now.” Yes, we understand that times are tight with the budget and
sequestration, etc. but after 7 years of CCD we are no closer to a solution and
our current ARS labs have just about enough money to keep the lights on and that
is about it.
Now here we are in June and myself along with Bret Adee, Steven
Coy, Joe Sanroma and Rick Smith attended a stakeholder meeting hosted by Dr. Tom
Rinderer at the ARS Bee Research Lab in Baton Rouge, LA. to help steer $1.3
million in new area wide funding for pesticide research.
Thanks to Dr. Kevin Hackett who pulled together a broad based
group of researchers on top of those currently working on research projects at
our three honey bee labs and the native bee lab at Logan, UT. Included for these
new research projects are Dr. John Adamczyk, Integrated Pest Management from
Poplarville, MS. as the RL for cotton/soybean application research along with
Dr. Clint Hoffman, Applied Technologies from College Station, TX and Dr. Y.C.
Zhu a toxicologist from Stoneville, MS. In addition there will be research going
on by Dr. Peter Teal, Gainesville, FL. and Ian Yocum and Joe Rinehardt in Fargo,
After a serious discussion of what beekeepers are experiencing in
the field we were able to identify the top 4 areas of importance of
exposure. What types of pesticides are coming into the hives on a
season long basis.
Adjuvants, fungicides, pesticides and mite treatments. Are there
synergistic side affects when bees are continually exposed?
bees. Are these pesticides coming into the hives where the bees are
storing contaminated pollen? Do these pesticides shorten the life span of the
bees and/or affect their ability to thermo regulate and survive the
pesticide applications and night spraying. Reducing exposures in cotton
and soy beans.
5. Other areas of
consideration. Soil accumulation, glyphosate, neo-nics in general,
accumulation of materials as it affects foraging, IGR’s, snotty brood, limits of
the bees ability to detoxification.
Pesticide Producers Turn To
‘Bee-Washing’ To Fight Backlash
ByAndrea Germanos,Common Dreams
Pesticide makers have taken
to framing themselves as stewards of the bees as backlash over their products’
links to mass bee deaths grows.
"Scientists, consumer groups,
beekeepers and others blame the devastating rate of bee deaths on the growing
use of pesticides sold by agrichemical companies to boost yields of staple crops
such as corn,”Reuters‘
Carey Gillam reports,
and this uproar worries officials at Bayer and Syngenta, who make the
pesticides, as well as Monsanto, DuPont, and other companies who used them as
coatings for the seed they sell.
So just as some companies
have tried to "greenwash” their toxic products, these agrichemical companies
are engaging in "bee-washing.” Gillam continues:
"Monsanto Co. is hosting a
‘Bee Summit.’ Bayer AG is breaking ground on a ‘Bee Care Center.’ And Sygenta
AG is funding grants for research into the accelerating demise of honeybees in
the United States, where the insects pollinate fruits and vegetables that make
up roughly a quarter of the American diet. Read More
The Applicator Must Ensure that Pesticide Spray
Drift Does No Harm
Kansas – June 4, 2013 – Recently, pesticide spray drift from different
pesticide applications caused damage to field corn on a bordering farm,
vegetables in an adjacent backyard, trees and bushes in a nearby state park and
vegetation on an adjoining campus. In all cases, the applicators were
fined because they had not taken the necessary precautions to avoid drift.
spray drift is the physical movement of spray droplets from the intended target
to any non-target site. Drift is not just about crop injury; it can
negatively impact workers, organic crops, the general public, beehives,
gardens, aquatic areas and other sensitive habitats, even if the effects are
not immediate or obvious.
labels vary with regard to information on spray drift management. Some
labels provide a detailed list of required drift management techniques.
Labels may specify a maximum wind speed in which to spray, or simply indicate
not to apply under windy conditions. Labels may also require an "adequate”
or specific size buffer zone between the target site and sensitive sites, such
as areas occupied by humans, animals or susceptible vegetation.
portion of the label stands alone – it is critical that spray drift-specific
requirements be considered concurrently with all other label requirements,”
notes Don Renchie, Ph.D., Pesticide Safety Education Program Coordinator, Texas
A&M AgriLife Extension Service. "For example, the agricultural label
requirement to protect
workers will override any maximum wind speed allowed on the label if
workers are in close proximity downwind of a planned application.” Read More
2013 Farm Bill Progress
June 06, 2013
Senate vote for closure on the 2013 Farm Bill passed 75-22 today, June 6, 2013,
while the House Ag leadership is working to find sufficient votes for passage
of the Farm Bill sometime in June 2013. The Senate will discuss a motion
to proceed to the Immigration Bill tomorrow, June 7, 2013. Closure for
the Farm Bill helped stop a long debate process over the many amendments that
have been filed. The Senate has agreed to do the final vote on the 2013
Farm Bill Monday at 5:30 pm EST. The Senate Agriculture Committee
leadership is still negotiating which amendments will be addressed before the
final vote of the Farm Bill; some 240 amendments remain filed.
view the Senate Floor upcoming schedule, click here.
The Top 5 Priorities of AHPA
AHPA is certainly busy
strategizing how to keep modern commercial beekeeping viable and profitable
going forward. Keeping this in mind, we have developed a Top 5 Priorities
1. Fund Economic Research
Service to develop an Economic Model of the value of bees. This new study is our foundational
effort to factor in the real value of
honey bees past the farm gate due to their direct impact on food production in
Build a state of the art genetics lab at Baton Rouge and move the Tucson lab to
California. Research objectives of California Lab:
Development of BMP’s and IPM on current fungicides,
pesticides, and Insect Growth Regulators
in a manner that minimizes stress on
honey bees while protecting the nation’s crops. This lab would also continue
research on wintering bees using feed, nutrition and other methods.
is a reasonable move given the fact that over half of the nations bee supply end
up in California to pollinate almonds.
3. Triple bee research
funds to ARS.
4. Triple bee research
funds to the Land grant system.
On items number three and
four on the list, we simply need applied research in the field to determine the
affects of pesticides on honeybees.
5. Forage and Nutrition.
Fund the reclaiming of canals, aqueducts and clean water riparian areas to a
state that maximizes the benefit to Honey Bees and native pollinators and
whenever possible road and the highway right of ways to be maintained in a state
that maximizes benefit to Honey Bees and native pollinators.
These maybe lofty goals
that may not happen overnight but the AHPA is determined to go after these funds
until they are appropriated. If again, according to the UN study that honeybees
are number three, then we need research funding to match the benefit.
Guidelines for Reporting Pesticide Incidents
SUBJECT: Transmittal of Guidance for Inspecting Alleged Cases of Pesticide-Related Bee Incidents
FROM: Lisa Lund, Director
Office of Compliance
I am pleased to distribute the attached
guidance for inspecting alleged cases of pesticide-related bee incidents in
time for spring and summer incident investigations. This guidance is a supplement to the national Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Inspection Manual. It presents unique considerations that federal, state and tribal inspectors should examine when investigating bee deaths that may be related to pesticide use. I request that you distribute this guidance to your state lead agencies and tribal pesticide
encourage you to discuss implementation of this guidance with them . We hope that using this guidance will make federal, state and tribal investigations of pesticide-related bee incidents more effective and efficient and help beekeepers , growers, and other stakeholders better understand the inspection process and the challenges associated with these complex investigations.
Strengthening our investigation of bee incidents through the implementation of this guidance is an important element of the U.S . Environmental Protection Agency's Pollinator Protection Strategic Plan. This plan includes working collaboratively with beekeepers, growers, pesticide manufacturers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, states and tribes to enhance pollinator protection.
The development of the guidance was led by Region
5 Land and Chemicals Division with staff from Region 5 Regional Counsel , Headquarters' Offices of Pesticide Program
s and Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
In addition, the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation
Group (SFIREG) and the Tribal Pesticide
Program Council (TPPC) reviewed a draft of the guidance and provided
If you have any questions or comments on the guidance, please contact
Ed Messina, Director of the Monitoring, Assistance and Media Programs Division at (202) 564-2300, or have staff contact Carol Galloway, OC at (913) 551-5092, or Margaret Jones, Region 5, at (3 12) 353-5790.
Download Guide Here
It could cost more to get food on your table if farmers let wild bees go
Senator Boxer Introduces Pollinator
Protection Amendment to the Senate Farm Bill
By Larissa Walker, Policy and
Campaign Coordinator at Center for Food Safety
May 31st, 2013
Next week Congress comes back
from recess and the Senate will resume debates on the Farm Bill. While
there are a number of possible amendments we have our eye on this year,
especially those pertaining to the labeling of genetically engineered food,
support for organic farmers, and a repeal of the "Monsanto Protection Act,”
there’s one amendment in particular that we’re expecting to receive a ton of
buzz: Senator Boxer’s pollinator protection amendment.
Over the past decade, honey
bees and other pollinators have been suffering record-high population losses. Given that one in every three bites of food is
reliant on bees and other species for pollination, the decline of pollinators
demands swift action; our agricultural economy, food supply and environment
depend on their well-being. Thankfully, Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA)
introduction of amendment (S. 1027) to the Farm Bill would be a step in the
right direction towards protecting honey bees and other pollinators if passed.
What exactly would
this amendment require the government to do?
of Propolis to Honey Bees: Does Propolis Reduce Levels of Viruses in Larvae?
University of Minnesota
We proposed two research objectives: 1) to
test if there is a correlation between colony health and propolis collection in
European-derived honey bees, and 2) to compare the immune systems of African-
and European-derived colonies that have been enriched or deprived of a propolis
envelope in the nest cavity.
Read Final Report Here
President Randy Verhoek
May 24, 2013
Bret Adee and myself are again out in DC on behalf of the Honey Producers
as the Farm Bill progresses. First of all I have some good news to report on the
creation of the Boxer Bee amendment. The passing of this amendment
1. create an interagency task
force on bee health and commercial beekeeping;
2. encourage a more proactive
approach to protecting pollinator health at USDA, Department Of Interior and EPA; and
3. require feasibility
studies for modernizing one current ARS honey bee research laboratory and
establishing one new ARS pollinator research laboratory.
Please call your senators and support the passage of this important
legislation as this is the foundation we can use to build upon for solving
honeybee health challenges now and in the future. Please call
your senators today!
full Boxer Bee Amendment
Also amongst the amendments lurking in the Farm bill is a worrisome piece
of legislation that concerns us that has to do with imported treated seed where
the pesticides coated on this seed would be completely unregulated. We simply cannot allow this to pass especially
given the fact that there are documented cases where these toxic coatings have
Seed Senate Amendment SA- 984
Please Call your Senators Now!