Bayer Presents at EPA Listening Session
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Author: Becky Langer
On Tuesday, I presented on behalf of Bayer CropScience at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) first Pollinator Task Force listening session. About 100 stakeholders gathered at EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs in Washington, D.C., and nearly 200 participants attended the webinar, including representatives from CropLife America (CLA) and the American Soybean Association.
As manager of Bayer’s North American Bee Care Program
, I spoke on the important role honey bees play in agriculture and on our efforts to promote pollinator health and sustainable agricultural practices that fall in four major areas:
- Research: We are actively involved in finding solutions to bee health, including our North American Bee Care Center, Sentinel Hives program, products to control the Varroa mite, bee repellants and research tools for evaluating bee health and risk assessment.
- Collaboration: Bayer is partnering with a dairy business, Pheasants Forever and Project Apis m. to improve pollinator health and habitat. We are also implementing a fencerow project in Fresno, Calif., and developing relationships with the National Wildlife Turkey Federation and the N.C. Department of Transportation.
- Education: CLA’s Stewardship First program recently recognized Bayer’s Bee Care Tour for fostering understanding and collaboration among growers, beekeepers, researchers, media, consumers and other stakeholders. Understanding the science that supports both apiculture and agriculture is critical and is why we are investing $52,000 in the National FFA and are promoting best management practices for farmers and beekeepers.
- Stewardship: We are committed to protecting pollinators and our environment through sound stewardship programs, such as our Fluency Agent and participation in the Corn Dust Consortium convened by Pollinator Partnership.
Tuesday’s listening session was prompted by a Presidential Memorandum
issued on June 20, 2014 by President Obama who formed a Pollinator Health Task Force charged with making recommendations to improve pollinator health. The Task Force was also charged with developing a plan to improve and increase habitat for pollinators through public and private sector partnerships. The Task Force’s input gathering is expected to finish December 20 and recommendations are expected in early 2015.
The second listening session is scheduled for Monday, November 17 at U.S. Department of Agriculture (4700 River Rd., Riverdale, MD 20737). If you can’t join in person, a webinar will also be available by visiting: http://www2.epa.gov/pollinator-protection
Additional comments can be submitted at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0806-0002.
Dr. Becky Langer is project manager for the Bayer Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C.