White House Releases Pollinator Task Force Report

Bees, flies, moths and other insects pollinate agriculture crops that help yield the nutritious fruit, nuts and vegetables we enjoy every day. Honey bee pollination alone reportedly adds more than USD15 billion in value to crops annually.

Stinging insects also pose a potential health threat in the form of allergic reactions to commercial clients, and their employees and customers. Finding a balance between protecting these valuable contributors to our eco-system and keeping clients safe is a challenge the pest management industry is facing.

The Sprague Pest Experts are very aware of the important role pollinators play in agriculture production in the Pacific Northwest. Last year the White House commissioned a Pollinator Task Force to look at the issue and after months of study the group recently released its findings.

The key elements of the proposed strategy, which is being led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. EPA, is focused on establishing a pollinator research action plan, expanding education and outreach programs, and improving pollinator habitats.

The report’s three objectives and benchmarks include:

■ Reduce honey bee colony losses during winter to no more than 15% 

within 10 years.

■ Increase Eastern population of the monarch butterfly to 225 million


■ Restore and enhance 7 million acres of land for pollinators over the next 

5 years through Federal, State and public-private partnerships.

The report goes on to say the EPA is developing a comprehensive approach to assess if there are pesticide risks to pollinators. This will include new pesticide exposure and effect study protocols as well as additional chronic and acute toxicity screening. Preliminary risk assessments for a select group of pesticide active ingredients will also be made available for comment. 

The EPA actions will not have a direct impact the products or application methods pest management professionals, including Sprague Pest Solutions, currently use to eliminate stinging insect threats.

For more information on the pest management industry’s efforts to protect pollinators, visit http://www.pollinatorhealth.org/

Stinging Insects: Bees, Hornets & Mosquitos