Monday, September 15, 2015
In August of 2015 Massachusetts beekeepers collaborated to create a Massachusetts Pollinator Protection Plan Framework based on the Presidential directive for Pollinator Health in the Nation.
On September 15, 2015, the “Eight County President’s Beekeepers Pollinator Protection Plan Framework” was submitted to our legislators, the MA Pesticide Bureau and the MA Farm Bureau. On October 8, 2015 a followup was sent to Commissioner John Lebeaux, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) to reiterate that this framework should be the Massachusetts Framework rather than simply a response to an invitation to comment on any other proposed framework.
Please take a moment to read what this plan intends to do to forge a Pollinator Protection Plan Framework in the Commonwealth and to lend your future support. Let us know how you can help going forward.
In March of 2016 the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) released a wholly inadequate draft State Pollinator Protection Plan that ignores the plan submitted by 8 Presidents of County Beekeeping Associations representing over 3000 beekeepers here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This plan is a cynical initiative, backed by powerful constituencies, to maintain the status quo regarding the sale, usage and labeling of the pesticides that countless volumes of peer reviewed scientific research have demonstrated to be killing our managed bees and native pollinators. Among the numerous problems with this plan are the following:
- Places responsibility on backyard beekeepers to avoid pesticides rather than placing responsibility on the state to adopt statewide pesticide restrictions.
- Does not place limitations on bee-killing pesticides.
- Does not provide information to the public to identify plants treated with neonicotinoid insecticides.
- Does not create pollinator forage that is free of pesticides.
- Places unfair regulation and imposes unrealistic policies on beekeepers, preventing them from being able to successfully manage their bees.
- Asks beekeepers to identify hive locations, but fails to require pesticide applicators to report where they are applying pesticides or notify beekeepers of applications.
- Fails to address native bees and native pollinators; only addresses managed bees.
- Requires beekeepers to stop their bees from swarming, which is not always possible because swarming is a natural process in a strong healthy hive.