GOOD NEWS FOR BEES! and us too ;)

 

The White House released today, National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/politics/national-strategy-to-promote-the-health-of-honey-bees-and-other-pollinators/1554/

(see accompanying story by the Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/whats-all-the-obama-buzz-about-bees/2015/05/18/5ebd1580-fd6a-11e4-805c-c3f407e5a9e9_story.html)

How timely!  It’s Wildflower Week this week, and Pollinator Week is just around the corner (June 15-21; http://pollinator.org/pollinator_week_2014.htm)

It’s time to engage, Colleagues and Partners!  We are on the hook for progress in pollinator conservation from this day forward.  Here are some of the measurable activities we at the USDA/FS have committed to as part of our participation in this unprecedented effort for pollinators in the U.S.:

–          Host pollinator themed events around nationally recognized days (Wildflower Week, Pollinator Week, Earth Day, Public Lands Day)

–          Add events to Pollinator Partnership website (and NICE database!) for tracking nationally

–          Help promote 1,000 new registered pollinator gardens on Pollinator Partnership (http://www.pollinator.org/SHARE.htm) and/or Greater Atlanta Poll. Partnership (http://gapp.org/) websites.

–          Educate gardeners with zip code-searchable Ecoregional Guides to Pollinator Friendly Plantings (FS-produced!): http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm

–          Develop partnerships with non-traditional entities (Zumba Fitness) to connect pollinators, food, fitness, health, and the outdoors.

–          Reach out to media partners with messages about how USDA/FS is working to help pollinators

–          Continue with and expand USDA/FS restoration efforts using native plants and pollinator habitat.

–          Include K-12 pollinator education materials in 4-H Youth Science Day, Ag. In the Classroom, school gardens, GreenSchools!, and other opportunities to share with academic networks.

–          Share newly developed NACD Pollinator Heroes K-12 publications (http://www.nacdnet.org/education/resources/local-heroes)

–          Develop Pollinator Youth Ambassador Program

–          Create pollinator health presentations for national education conferences, as webinars, and distance learning events.

–          Fund & develop Pollinator Public Service Announcements