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February 24, 2014 Humming for Bees. Humming for Bees Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the 4 P’s Solutions and Proposal Cost Considerations Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "February 24, 2014 Humming for Bees. Humming for Bees Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the 4 P’s Solutions and Proposal Cost Considerations Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 February 24, 2014 Humming for Bees

2 Humming for Bees Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the 4 P’s Solutions and Proposal Cost Considerations Resources February 24, 20142Humming for Bees

3 Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) In the United States and Europe bee colonies have experienced significant losses This phenomenon has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD There is significant concern as pollination has a very important role in our food production There are several contributors to CCD sometimes referred to as the 4 P’s February 24, 20143Humming for Bees

4 The 4 P’s Poor Nutrition Pesticides Parasites Pathogens February 24, 20144Humming for Bees

5 Poor Nutrition Not enough Bee Food Not enough plant variety Inconsistent food supply over entire foraging season Lawn monoculture = food desert “Weeds”, including flowering varieties, public and private, are mowed, weed-whipped and/or sprayed with poison. February 24, 20145Humming for Bees

6 Pesticides Starting in around 2006 there has been increasing use of a family of pesticides know as “neonicotinoids” In heavy doses neonicotinoids, or neonics, are known to kill bees and other beneficial pollinators In lesser doses neonics are known to “disrupt bees’ reproduction, mobility, navigation, feeding, foraging, memory, learning, and overall hive activity” These neonicotinoids are systemic. All parts of the plant, roots, stem, leaf, pollen, nectar, and surrounding soil contain the chemical thus turning the plant into a poison factory. February 24, 20146Humming for Bees

7 Pesticides (cont.) In some cases various pesticides (i.e. insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) build up in bees, create problems due to the chemical combinations, and further weaken the bees Some countries have banned the use of neonicotinoids. In the USA our EPA has been granting conditional registration of neonicotinoids with incomplete health and safety data, and then extending that registration without required studies. Presently the EPA’s main action is facilitating labeling changes and providing guidance for investigation of “beekill” incidents The EPA estimated it will be 2018 before it makes a decision on neonicotinoids. Bees can’t wait 5 years! February 24, 20147Humming for Bees

8 Pesticides (cont.) Bottom Line Don’t spray, drench, or inject bee-killing pesticides (i.e. No insecticides, herbicides and fungicides on or near Bee Food) February 24, 20148Humming for Bees

9 Parasites and Pathogens There are a variety of parasites and pathogens that exist in honeybee populations Weaknesses due to lack of nutrition make bees more susceptible to pathogens (i.e. viruses) and they more readily succumb to parasites Weaknesses due to chronic and low levels of exposure to chemicals also make bees more susceptible to pathogens and parasites February 24, 20149Humming for Bees

10 Solutions and Proposal February 24, Humming for Bees

11 Solutions and Proposal Turn public spaces into Bee-Safe areas! Plant Pesticide-free flowers. Flowers are Bee Food! Don’t spray the Bee Food! (not on it, not near it) Educate all citizens regarding bees: their gifts and needs Begin this spring to implement the Bee Safe City Resolution Publish a “Bee Safe City Report” each spring February 24, Humming for Bees

12 Turn Public Spaces into Bee-Safe Areas Buy plants, shrubs, and trees from nurseries that guarantee they have not used neonicotinoids or other systemics on their seeds, plants, or trees. Utilize knowledgeable landscapers, gardeners and citizens who understand the issues Create Bee-Safe areas and plantings in public green spaces February 24, Humming for Bees

13 Plant Pesticide-free Flowers: Bee Food Plant a variety of flowering plants that bees like (pollen for protein, nectar for carbs) Plant a variety of flowering plants that guarantee blooming from spring to fall (April through October) Bees need to eat from pesticide-free plants, shrubs, and trees February 24, Humming for Bees

14 Don’t Spray the Bee Food No harmful pesticides (i.e. NO insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides on or near the bee food) Use IPM (Integrated Pest Management) best practices – systemic pesticides are not consistent with IPM Systemic pesticides are un-avoidable for bees and other foraging insects February 24, Humming for Bees

15 Educate the Public Tell the public what bees and pollinators are facing Tell the public what the cost of losing bees would mean to humans Show them the research by the Xerces Society, the Pesticide Action Network, our own U of M Bee Squad and the alarms that many others are sounding Ask them to see things with different eyes – perhaps the green lawn with its tons of upkeep, no flowering plants and no food for our bees is not the ideal after all. February 24, Humming for Bees

16 Cost Considerations Instead of spending $$ spraying for weeds, buy bee-favorite-food plants (garden & native species) Instead of spending $$ mowing the grass every week or two in public spaces, use that money on pesticide-free plants, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen for bees Once established, many perennial garden and native plantings can be sustainable and may cost less to manage February 24, Humming for Bees

17 Resources Dr. Marla Spivak, “Why Bees are Disappearing”, TED Talk University of Minnesota Bee Lab, Pesticide Action Network North America, Beyond Pesticides, Xerces Society, February 24, Humming for Bees


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