Bee Health Commentary--Presentations and Impact

June 23, 2017

On June 19, CAST released a timely commentary titled Why Does Bee Health Matter? The Science Surrounding Honey Bee Health Concerns and What We Can Do About It
To roll out this important research paper, Dr. Marla Spivak, an entomologist and Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota, spoke at three events in Washington, D.C.: (1) a morning session with the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, (2) an NC-FAR lunch seminar with staffers from the House of Representatives, and (3) an NC-FAR afternoon seminar with staffers from the Senate.

•     The full commentary is available here.
•    The Ag quickCAST one-page version is available here.
•    This link provides access to Dr. Spivak's presentation on YouTube.

The sessions were well attended, and many ag media outlets have promoted the information. CAST EVP Kent Schescke noted, "We were pleased with attendance and interest about this topic. There were many good questions and discussions following the presentations."  Listed below are a few of the quotes from Dr. Spivak's speech:

"Our greatest challenge going forward is how we protect our pollinators . . . and control our crop pests at the same time."

"It is not an 'either-or' proposition. Instead, a 'rebalancing' needs to take place so bees can be protected next to corn and soybean fields, but also in apple orchards and almond groves.

"We are in the middle of this glorious pollinator revival, and people--because they're paying attention to bees and monarch butterflies--they're starting to realize they can help." 

The CAST commentary points out that "pollination services contribute directly to the economy and food security," citing annual revenues of $11.7 billion from the sale of honey bee-pollinated fruit, vegetable, and nut crops in the United States. "The additional value of pollination services by the thousands of species of native bees that live in the wild throughout the (U.S.) is estimated at $3.4 billion annually, and the total economic value of pollination worldwide, by all bees, was estimated at $216 billion."    

CAST Communications and Social Media Specialist Kylie Peterson notes, "The impact report of CAST’s recent commentary regarding Why Does Bee Health Matter has experienced active feedback thus far. Various news stations, organizations, and media outlets have helped to disperse CAST’s press release through various platforms. We look forward to seeing even more growth throughout the next few months as the topic of bee health continues to stir interest."