pollinator weekWritten by Karen Lewis, WSU Extension

National Pollinator week has been celebrated since 2006 when the United States Senate first set aside a time to observe pollinators and recognize their importance in our world.
Pollinator Week is an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. Learn more about all our important pollinators by visiting the Pollinator Partnership and the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign at http://www.pollinator.org/

Pollination and Protecting Pollinators is a WSU Extension video that gives an overview of the pollination process, the value of bees and the benefit humans gain from this relationship. It also provides insight into the complexity and challenges of the beekeeping industry.  Most importantly, it presents a balanced perspective on the many factors associated with the decline of honey bees. The video concludes with an overview on some of the research currently underway at Washington State University in support of honey bee health and things we all can do to help bees and other pollinators. Click here to access the video: https://vimeo.com/146957716

While there are efforts underway to develop mechanical means of pollination with spray applications of pollen and robotic bee drones, our industry is currently dependent on pollinators to pollinate our crops. In the case of tree fruit, honey bees are mostly responsible for flower pollination.

Tim Lawrence is a WSU Extension Bee Specialist located in Island County and has 50+ years of hands on experience with honey bees. Tim was a presenter at the 2015 WSTFA Annual Meeting and the 2017 IFTA Annual Conference. I have had numerous requests for his contact information and his presentation. Contact Information:
Dr. Timothy Lawrence
timothy.lawrence@wsu.edu
Office: 360.679.7329
Tim made a presentation entitled Understanding Honey Bee Biology and Decline at the WSU Small Fruit Conference in the fall of 2015. It is similar to the presentation he made at the WSTFA meetings. It is available here: https://youtu.be/w-zGO716jnw?t=45s

What can you do?

  • Learn how to reduce the direct exposure of pollinators to pesticides and how to protect critical nesting sites and food sources for beneficial insects & pollinators.
  • Study the habitat on your land: look for areas that can support all kinds of pollinators and other wildlife.
  • Renew forage and nesting habitats by adding flowering plants, hedge rows, butterfly way stations and other shrubs.

Additional Resources:

Tree Fruit Pollination and Honey Bees
http://treefruit.wsu.edu/orchard-management/pollination/

WSU Honey Bee and Pollinator Research http://bees.wsu.edu/

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides
https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/pnw591.pdf

WSU Neonicotinoid study
https://news.wsu.edu/2016/08/15/study-neonicotinoid-pesticides-pose-low-risk-honey-bees/

Modeling honeybee foraging project – WSU Jones Lab / USDA-ARS
http://www.goodfruit.com/how-busy-are-your-bees/

Contact

Karen Lewiskaren-lewis

Professor, Regional Tree Fruit Extension Specialist | Tree Fruit Extension Team Leader

Washington State University

kmlewis@wsu.edu

O: 509-754-2011 X 4307  |  C: 509-760-2263