It’s Pollinator Week in Connecticut

Pollinator Week in Connecticut recognizes the importance of bees.

Pollinator Week in Connecticut recognizes the importance of bees.

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has announced that Governor Dannel P. Malloy has proclaimed the week of June 20-26, 2016 as Pollinator Week in the State of Connecticut in recognition of the importance of pollinators, the assistance provided to beekeepers by CAES, and the research by CAES and the University of Connecticut on honey bees, wild bees and pollinator habitat.

“Pollinators play a vital role for Connecticut’s environment, agriculture, and gardeners everywhere, which includes 1,488 registered beekeepers with 7,416 honey bee hives registered with the Office of the State Entomologist. Honey bee pollination provides at least $13.8 million in service value to the orchards in the state,” estimates Dr. Kirby Stafford.

In addition, the state’s beekeepers also produced 155,991 pounds of honey from 227 operations valued at $609,000 according to the USDA National Agriculture Statistic Service’s 2012 census of agriculture.

“There are currently 349 documented species of wild bees in the State of Connecticut” noted Dr. Kimberly Stoner, based on a scientific paper currently in press, identifying new state records for many bee species. Many crops, such as pumpkin and squash, are primarily dependent on these native bees for pollination.

Dr. Stoner held a workshop on “Successfully Establishing Plants for Pollinators” earlier this year that was attended by over 120 participants. The CAES website includes a “Pollinator Information” portal with links to fact sheets and other publications on protecting pollinators from pesticides, and planting flowers for bees in Connecticut, and also includes materials from the speakers at the workshop.

The direct link to the portal is: www.ct.gov/caes/cwp/view.asp?a=2826&q=578322&caesNav=|

In the coming months, CAES will be appointing three staff members to a Pollinator Advisory Committee, developing a citizen’s guide to model pollinator habitat, and working with the Departments of Energy and Environmental Protection and Agriculture on best management practices for the use of seed treated with certain pesticides, and Dr. Stafford will report to the state legislature on the status of the Varroa mite attacking honey bees, as a result of the new state law, “An Act Concerning Pollinator Health,” Public Act No. 16-17.

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