[permaculture] Pollinator conservation project awarded $1 million USDA grant

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at bellsouth.net
Fri Aug 31 14:25:37 EDT 2012

------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] Pollinator conservation project awarded $1 million 
USDA grant
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 18:03:58 -0700
From: Matthew Shepherd <mdshepherd at XERCES.ORG>

August 29, 2012

Contacts:        Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director: 503-449-3792

Eric Mader, Assistant Pollinator Conservation Director:  503-989-3649

Pollinator Conservation Project Awarded $1 million USDA Grant

Scientists from the Xerces Society, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, University of
Minnesota and Rutgers will work to create habitat for pollinators on farms

Portland, Ore.--- Last Friday Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced
that the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, along with
collaborating bee researchers, will receive a $997,815 USDA Natural Resource
Conservation Service Conservation Innovation Grant to improve pollinator
habitat on farms and ranches across the U.S.

Through this project the researchers and conservationists hope to answer
questions such as how to best manage wildflower meadows on the edge of farms
as long term pollinator habitat, how to control weeds in such pollinator
meadows using organic techniques, and how to quantify the effectiveness of
various types of flowers in supporting crop-pollinating wild bees and honey
bees.  Another part of the project will work with native plant nurseries to
mass-produce wildflower seed for plants with high pollen and nectar value
that are not currently available among the nursery industry.

The project builds upon earlier field-testing by the project partners to see
if restored natural habitat created next to cropland could help struggling
bee populations by providing additional pollen and nectar sources and refuge
from pesticides.

Participating farms, research sites, and native plant nurseries are located
in California, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida, Wyoming, Montana,
Indiana and Texas.

Along with the Xerces Society, project partners include Dr. Claire Kremen
(University of California Berkeley), Dr. Neil Williams (University of
California Davis), Dr. Marla Spivak (University of Minnesota) and Dr.
Rachael Winfree (Rutgers University).  Drs. Kremen and Spivak both received
prestigious MacArthur "Genius" Awards for their previous work on pollinator


The ecological service provided by pollinators is necessary for the
reproduction of nearly 85% of the world's flowering plants. This includes
more than 2/3rds of the world's crop species. The fruits, seeds and
livestock forage produced by pollinators provides over 30% of the food that
we consume. The annual value of insect-pollinated crops in the United States
was estimated to be $20 billion in 2000.

Honey bees are the most familiar pollinator in the U.S., yet the number of
managed honey bee hives has declined by 50% since 1950. Each year, the
beekeeping industry loses more than 30% of hives due to disease, parasites,
pesticides and lack of floral resources. New research suggests that diverse
wildflower plantings may improve honey bee health, including
disease-resistance. A growing body of research also demonstrates that native
bees make a significant contribution to crop pollination-in some cases
providing all of the pollination needed when enough habitat is available.
Today, habitat supporting all pollinators (native bees and honey bees) is
more important than ever.

About the Xerces Society

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (named after the extinct
Xerces blue butterfly) is an international nonprofit organization that works
to protect invertebrate wildlife. The organization's Pollinator Conservation
Program partners with farmers and farm agencies to restore habitat for
native crop-pollinating bees. Xerces is based in Portland, Oregon and has
offices in California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey and North Carolina.


Matthew Shepherd

Communications Director

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

628 NE Broadway, Ste 200, Portland, OR 97232-1324, USA

  <mailto:mdshepherd at xerces.org> mdshepherd at xerces.org

Tel: (503) 232-6639 ext. 110

Toll free: 1-855-232 6639 ext. 110

Cell: (503) 807-1577

Fax: (503) 233-6794

Connect with Xerces via Facebook

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international
nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of
invertebrates and their habitat.

To join the Society, make a donation, or read about our work, please visit
<http://www.xerces.org/> www.xerces.org.

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