Inside this special edition you will find the following:
Washington Alfalfa Seed Growers Take Pollinator Protection to the Next Level
A lot of growers take steps to protect beneficial insects as part of their integrated pest management programs, but how many have speed limits?
Alfalfa seed growers in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley do.
The insect-driven speed limit – believed to be the only one in the nation – is designed to protect the area’s native ground-dwelling alkali bees. They pollinate alfalfa seed, and the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. speed limit is only one of many measures area growers take to protect and promote the bees.
“All we do here is raise alfalfa seed, and we take great pains to protect those bees,” explained third-generation alfalfa seed grower Mike Ingham. “We have a very intensive integrated pest management program and one of the reasons is to protect these native bees.”
Pest Management Strategic Plan Stresses Pollinator Protection
Last summer, at the request of grower members and other industry stakeholders, the Western Alfalfa Seed Growers Association began the process of preparing a revised Pest Management Strategic Plan, updating a previous version created in 2005.
Much progress has been made on the critical research, regulatory and educational needs identified in the 2005 document, but new challenges have arisen within the alfalfa seed industry. The new pest management strategic plan, which was funded by the Western IPM Center, includes a focus on pollinator management, as the balance between pest management and pollinator protection is the most critical production issue in producing alfalfa for seed in the current regulatory environment.
Another Look at Southern Washington’s Alkali Bees
There is still basic research being done on the native alkali bees found in the Walla Walla Valley. Here’s a look at some of it.
Western Apicultural Society Meeting in September
The Western Apicultural Society will host its 40th annual meeting in Davis, California on September 5 to 8.
There’s a lot planned.
Oregon Bee Project Newsletter
The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University collaborate on the Oregon Bee Project, designed to increase pollinator habitat, safeguard pollinators against pesticide exposure and increase general awareness about Oregon bees.
CAST Commentary on Why Bee Health Matters
Released in June, this commentary by the Council on Agriculture Science and Technology focuses on honeybee health and why it matters.