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Follow Simple Steps to Keep Pollinators Safe

June 8, 2021

The Growing Matters coalition is reminding farmers and applicators of the power of pollinators and ways to BeSure! they stay safe throughout the growing season.

Did you know that pollinators are responsible for every 1 in 3 mouthfuls of food and beverages? Honey bees and other insect pollinators provide pollination service to millions of acres of fruit, nuts, vegetables and flowers. With proper pesticide use and good stewardship practices, you can help pollinators thrive and protect their habitats.

The best place to start to ensure good stewardship is with the product label. These are documents that are regularly updated with new information that must be followed. Every time you use a pesticide or purchase a new container, it’s a good idea to read the label for updated use rates, storage details and disposal information. Following the label, and the specific callouts on how to mitigate product exposure to pollinators, is one simple way we can do our part to protect insect pollinators and other wildlife. For example, a label may prohibit applications to blooming crops or weeds when bees are foraging in or near the treatment area.

Stewardship best practices help you keep the product in the field and away from non-target areas. This includes ensuring sprays are directed away from flowering plants, establishing proper buffer zones and calibrating equipment to minimize spray drift.

Hear from Caydee Savinelli, pollinator and stewardship team lead, as she discusses the importance of pollinators with Brownfield Ag News as part of last year’s BeSure! campaign.

Remember, you can’t be a steward on your own. Throughout the growing season, BeSure! to collaborate and communicate with key stakeholders in the area. Cooperation among farmers, landowners, applicators, beekeepers, crop advisors and local officials helps protect pollinators. Through close collaboration and tools such as FieldWatch® and BeeCheck™, you can track bee colonies, implement precautions prior to treatments and improve communication between key stakeholders.

BeSure! to check out more best practices from the Growing Matters coalition. For additional information about pollinator stewardship, please visit www.growingmatters.org/besure.

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