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National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees: Stakeholder and Public Listening Session

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Pollinator Health Working Group, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will host a Listening Session to discuss a strategy to monitor native bees in the United States.

The listening session will be held June 28, 2017.

Echinacea and bee USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
Pollinator plants and insects (such as this Echinacea and bee) are busy at the People's Garden in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. #PeoplesGarden. Please see peoplesgarden.usda.gov/. For more information about the Echinacea plant, also known as purple coneflower, narrow-leaved coneflower, blacksamson, please see USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service/Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench and USDA/Forest Service/Echinacea plant. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Purpose:

Several species of animal pollinators in the United States have experienced significant population declines. The most economically important pollinators include managed bees (e.g., European honey bee, bumble bees, alfalfa leafcutter bee, etc.) as well as wild native bees. Numerous biotic and abiotic causes are responsible for these declines. Frequently reported factors include:
• Invasive pests, parasites, and diseases;
• Increased exposure to pesticides, pollutants or toxins;
• Nutritional deficits;
• Extreme weather events;
• Agricultural intensification and habitat loss;
• Reduced genetic diversity; and
• Changes in pollinator or crop management practices.

The loss of both managed and wild bees would have severe impacts on crops that depend on pollinators, and would ultimately impact food security. This loss would also negatively impact natural ecosystem services dependent on pollinators.

In June 2014, a Presidential memorandum directed the formation of a National Pollinator Task Force chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Task Force released a Pollinator Research Action Plan in May 2015. The Plan included actions needed to assess native bee populations, including developing baseline data, assessing trends in pollinator populations, expanding bee identification capacities, and expanding collaboration between government and university scientists.

During 2015, Senators Barbara Boxer, Kristen Gillibrand, and Diane Feinstein asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review USDA and EPA efforts to protect bee health. In their 2016 report, a key GAO findings was, ‘‘USDA has increased monitoring of honey bee colonies managed by beekeepers to better estimate losses nationwide but does not have a mechanism in place to coordinate the monitoring of wild, native bees.’’ The GAO Report recommended that USDA coordinate with members of the Pollinator Task Force to develop a monitoring plan that would:
• Establish roles and responsibilities of lead and support agencies;
• Establish shared outcomes and goals; and
• Obtain input from relevant stakeholders, such as states.

A first step towards developing a national monitoring plan, the listening session will gather input from a diverse range of people who are interested in native bee diversity, abundance, and large scale national monitoring strategies.
 

Prospectus:

The morning portion of the listening session will include brief introductions and opening remarks by USDA leaders and relevant federal agencies followed by five-minute oral presentations.
 

Listening Session for National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees Agenda

June 28, 2017, 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
(Due to lower than expected turnout, the listening session will end at 10:30 a.m.)
USDA South Building Café Conference Center, 1400 Independence Ave., SW Washington DC  20250
 

Topic Speaker Time
Welcome and Introductions Mary Purcell, National Program Leader,
Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, USDA-NIFA
8:00 - 8:15 a.m.
Opening Remarks from NIFA Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, USDA-NIFA 8:15 - 8:30 a.m.
Opening Remarks from ARS Maureen Whalen, USDA-ARS Deputy Administrator,
Office of National Programs: Crop Production and Crop Protection
8:30 - 8:45 a.m.
Introduce Presenters: Moderator Monica Tomosy, National Program Leader,
National Wildlife Research Program Leader, Research & Development-WO,
Forest Mgmt. Science, USDA-FS
8:45 - 8:50 a.m.
Speaker 1 Jonathan Mawdsley: Science Advisor,
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 
8:50 - 8:55 a.m.
Speaker 2 Bruce Levinson:
Center for Regulatory Effectiveness
8:55 - 9:00 a.m.
Speaker 3 Timothy McMahon:
Bee Keeper
9:00 - 9:05 a.m.
Speaker 4 Dave Hunter:
CrownBees
9:05 - 9:10 a.m.
Speaker 5 Quinn McFrederick: Asst. Professor,
University of California-Riverside
9:10 - 9:15 a.m.
Speaker 6 Kathryn LeCroy: Graduate Student,
University of Virginia
9:15 - 9:20 a.m.
Speaker 7 Bryan Danforth; Professor,
Cornell University
9:20 - 9:25 a.m.
Speaker 8 Jasmine Adolphe: President,
Save the Bees, Inc.
9:25 - 9:30 a.m.
Speaker 9 S. Hollis Woodard: Asst. Professor,
University of California-Riverside
9:30 - 9:35 a.m.
Moderated Discussion Monica Tomosy, USDA-Forest Service 9:35 - 10:05 a.m.
Closing Remarks Rosalind James, National Program Leader,
USDA-Agricultural Research Service
10:05 - 10:15 a.m.
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