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David Sparks Ph.d National Pollinator Week
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: June 19, 2017

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Knowing that bees are becoming endangered because of Colony Collapse Disorder throughout the world we should all celebrate National Pollinator Week Which is this week. People in Oregon are certainly doing that.

Generally speaking, Oregon’s 500 or so native bee populations are stable and doing well, which isn’t always the case elsewhere. Oregon is recognized as one of the more proactive states in addressing pollinator health issues and understanding the importance of pollinators to the state’s diverse specialty crop agriculture. Sarah Kincaid is an entomologist and bee specialist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture:

 

 KINCAID: “There’s a real symbiotic relationship between many of the crops we produce here and bees. The crops are providing the bees with the resources they need for their biological development and then bees are providing pollination for the crops.”

 

One of the goals during Pollinator Week is to highlight some of the bee-friendly practices farmers have implemented:

 

KINCAID: “A lot of these farms have already started putting in pollinator habitat through hedgerows. They’ve started changing some of their management practices, being more concerned about only spraying at night when bees aren’t on the flower, not spraying during bloom– some basic practices like that.”  

 

Kincaid says, in general, there is much more awareness of pollinator protection among Oregon growers than other growers she’s met in other states. But the special week will also highlight steps consumers can take to benefit pollinators, like having bee-friendly plants in the yard. A series of activities and messaging will take place in several communities across the state both during Pollinator Week and throughout the summer. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

 

KINCAID says many Oregon farmers are implementing bee-friendly practices and understand the importance of pollinators to the state’s specialty crops:

 

 “I’ve noticed a much greater awareness in Oregon growers than growers I’ve met in other parts of the country. Crops we produce here, many of them rely on insect pollination. So they are much more aware of the needs of pollinators, I think, as a general rule.”  :15

 

 

 KINCAID wants to clear up a common misconception regarding Oregon’s 500 or so native bees:

 

“Here in Oregon, although bee decline has been documented around the world and the United States, for the most part we do not have evidence to suggest that most of our bees are declining. They appear to be relatively stable and doing rather well. There are a few exceptions. But for the most part, our pollinators are pretty robust here.”

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