----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:04 AM
Subject: wfan list> Pollinator Protection Act of 2007 Introduced into the Senate
For immediate Release
Date: June 26, 2007
Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director Xerces Society: 503-449-3792 [log in to unmask]
For additional information contact:
Natalie Ravitz (Boxer) 202-224-8120
Kyle Downey (Thune) 202-228-5939
Kendra Barkoff (Casey) 202-228-6367
Pollinator Protection Act of 2007 Introduced into the Senate
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) along with eight other co-sponsors introduced the Pollinator Research Act of 2007 into the Senate today. This bill provides significant funding for research that will improve the security of crop pollination and support strong populations of honey bees and native bees.
The recent widespread loss of honey bee colonies from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has received a lot of media coverage. At this time the cause of CCD remains a mystery. It may be one or more factors, such as parasitic mites, disease, pesticides or diet.
The European honey bee isand will
continue to bethe most important single crop pollinator in the
Protection Act is a
modified version of Congressman Hastings’ Pollinator
Protection Act (H.R. 1709), which addresses Colony Collapse Disorder
(CCD). This bill not only addresses Colony Collapse Disorder in honey bees,
but also the decline of native pollinators in
“This bill can help to improve crop
security and the sustainability of agriculture, by helping farmers in the
The Pollinator Protection Act provides for:
The Pollinator Protection Act of 2007 works in conjunction with Senator Baucus’ Pollinator Habitat Protection Act (introduced May 24, 2007), of which Senator Boxer is a co-sponsor. The Pollinator Habitat Protection Act addresses an important aspect of CCD and the decline of pollinators in general: the continued loss of pollinator habitat due to development. The Pollinator Habitat Protection Act leverages existing conservation efforts to improve the health of our nation’s pollinators.
Senator Boxer’s Pollinator Protection Act differs in that it directly applies research funding to strengthen honey bees and native bees, the foundation of crop pollination in the U.S. Honey bees and native bees are vital for $15 billion and $3 billion in crop production each year, respectively, yet research in these fields has received little funding and attention throughout its history. No other industry or service that provides such vital services to this nation is as under-funded as beekeeping and native bee management and habitat conservation.
In conjunction, these two bills take major steps to focus resources and conservation efforts on the decline of honey bees, native bees, and other pollinators, and provide a foundation for further study into a service we have often taken for granted. In supporting funding for research, we provide avenues to further understand the problems facing our crop pollinators, and in turn ensure the health of our nation’s food supply.
"Almost all of our pollination eggs are in the honey bee basket," says Mace Vaughan, conservation director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. "The Pollinator Protection Act of 2007 will support honey bees and greatly expand our understanding of bumble bees, sweat bees, mason bees, squash bees, sunflower bees, and miner bees. This bill strengthens the honey bee basket and adds additional pollinator baskets for agriculture."
Importance of Protecting Pollinators
Pollinators are essential to our
environment. The ecological service they provide is important for the
reproduction of nearly 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants. This
includes more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species, and one in three
mouthfuls of the food that we eat. The
Beyond agriculture, native pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems. Fruits and seeds derived from insect pollination are a major part of the diet of approximately 25 percent of birds, and of mammals ranging from deer mice to grizzly bears.
Why are native bees so helpful? Collectively, native bees are more versatile than honey bees. Some species, such as mason bees, are active when conditions are too cold or wet for honey bees. Many species also are simply more efficient at moving pollen between flowers. Bumble bees and several other native species can buzz pollinate flowersvibrating the flower to release pollen from deep inside the pollen-bearing antherswhich honey bees cannot do. Crops such as tomatoes, cranberries, and blueberries produce larger, more abundant fruit when buzz pollinated.
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international non-profit organization that protects the diversity of life through the conservation of invertebrates. The Society advocates for invertebrates and their habitats by working with scientists, land managers, educators, and citizens on conservation and education projects. Its core programs focus on endangered species, native pollinators, and watershed health.
For more information on pollinator conservation go to: www.xerces.org
Pollinator Protection Act Cosponsors
Sponsor: Boxer, Barbara- (D - CA)
Casey, Robert P., Jr.- (D - PA)
Thune, John- (R - SD)
Nelson, Bill- (D - FL)
Menendez, Robert- (D - NJ)
Clinton, Hillary Rodham- (D - NY)
Durbin, Richard- (D - IL)
Brown, Sherrod- (D - OH)
Kerry, John F.- (D - MA)
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
The Xerces Society is an international nonprofit organization that
protects the diversity of life through invertebrate conservation. To
join the Society, make a contribution, or read about our work,
please visit www.xerces.org.
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