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US: Pollinator website launched

A website that will help guide industry members’ efforts to safeguard pollinators launched last week. The interactive site includes new materials and information available to any industry member who wants to show how the plants and flowers grown by the floral industry contribute to bee and other pollinator health, said Lin Schmale, SAF’s senior director of government relations.

The website is an important part of the industry’s Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative. Launched last year as a joint effort of SAF, AmericanHort, the American Floral Endowment and the Horticultural Research Institute, the initiative funnels industry dollars to support research on pollinator health and to develop best practices for growers. It will be key in helping to counter environmental activists’ claims that horticulture’s growing practices and use of neonicotinoid chemicals put bees and other pollinators at risk.

In addition to the goals of supporting research and promoting grower “best practices,” the stewardship effort continues to look for opportunities to help provide pollinator forage and habitat, identified as key pollinator needs by the Obama Administration’s National Pollinator Health Strategy.

The website also links to the important “Million Pollinator Garden Challenge” which encourages all individuals, businesses and organizations to join in planting pollinator gardens nationwide. Even a pollinator-friendly windowbox can be registered on the Garden Challenge website. SAF and AmericanHort continue to encourage industry members to participate.

The website showcases the Stewardship Initiative’s brochure and “frequently asked questions” document, which provide helpful information for growers and retailers, and can be downloaded and provided to customers or others. New information will continue to be added to the website, particularly as results of research funded by the American Floral Endowment, the Horticultural Research Institute, USDA, and others become available.

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