Pollinator Protection: USDA Recognizes the Importance of Pest Management Tools, EPA Commits to Using Best Available Science

May 19, 2015

Editor’s Note: In Appendix A of the Administration’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, EPA commits to usng the “Best Available Science to Support Protective Decisions. EPA states,

Metrics: EPA will track the number of pesticides for which the acute and chronic laboratory-based studies of honey bee adults and larvae are submitted in support of the registration and registration review programs. EPA’s goal is to ensure that such enhanced science-based information is available to support key regulatory outcomes in its registration review and registration programs for new and existing chemicals. Also, for those chemicals for which risk managers need additional refinements, the number of colony-level studies at either the semi-field or full-field scale serve as a measure of the Agency’s ability to refine estimates of potential risk to colonies as a whole and to develop more effective label language to mitigate potential risks.

In Appendix B, of the Plan, USDA states,

APHIS has also received $1 million annually in appropriations since 2013 to work with other Federal and state agencies and the public to: manage, suppress, and eradicate Varroa mites, small hive beetles, and other pests and diseases; support research to breed pest resistant bees and queens; and support research to monitor for Varroa resistance to pesticides. Interactions between Varroa and viruses are also being investigated.


Among many successes, USDA’s bee labs have identified traits leading to Varroa mite-resistance and used this genetic information to breed mite-resistant honey bee stock, as well as developed easy to grow, pollinator-friendly pasture mixes that are compatible with almond production. USDA is committed to a research agenda that builds toward solutions for beekeepers and land managers and informs policy related to pollinator health.


From: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Announcing New Steps to Promote Pollinator Health

Posted by John P. Holdren

Pollinators are critical to the Nation’s economy, food security, and environmental health. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year, and helps ensure that our diets include ample fruits, nuts, and vegetables. This tremendously valuable service is provided to society by honey bees, native bees and other insect pollinators, birds, and bats.


Today’s announcement marks an important step toward promoting the health of pollinators that are critically important to our economy, environment, and health.

  • Read the National Strategy to Promote Pollinator Health HERE
  • Read the Pollinator Research Action Plan HERE
  • Read Pollinator-Friendly Best Management Practices for Federal Lands HERE
  • Access Appendices to the National Strategy HERE

Dr. John P. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science & Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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