Environmental Protection

Protection Team to Explore Widespread Bee Deaths

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has formed a pollinator protection team to expand its inquiry into the possible causes of declines in pollinators, especially honey bee populations, according to a June 22 press release.

The new multidisciplinary team will address the potential risks that pesticides may contribute to what is known as colony collapse disorder.

Although the role that pesticides play in the phenomenon has not been scientifically established, the team will explore possible approaches, tools, and resources for reducing the potential risks of pesticides to pollinators. The team has also developed a strategic plan that focuses on three main goals for guiding the agency's work and direction in protecting pollinators in the years ahead:

  • Advancing the agency's scientific knowledge and assessment of pesticide risks to pollinators;
  • Improving risk management tools for mitigating potential risks to pollinators;
  • Increasing and broadening EPA's collaboration and communication with governmental and non-governmental organizations and the public in addressing pollinator issues.

EPA has been working on multiple fronts to protect honey bees through regulatory, voluntary, and research programs. However, since colony collapse disorder first focused attention on honey bee declines beginning in 2006, the agency has been reassessing its approach to pollinator protection.

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/ecosystem/pollinator-protection.html.

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