Falls Church, Va. (March 21, 2022)—The U.S. Apple Association today released its new publication, Pollinator Best Management Practices for Apples. The publication, created in partnership with the Honey Bee Health Coalition, can be viewed and downloaded here.
Apples are an important pollinator-dependent crop grown for commercial production on 295,000 acres in the U.S. As growers respond to greater demands for advancements in sustainability, USApple believes this document will be a valuable tool.
“One-third of the food we eat begins with pollinators, and each year they are the genesis of $21 billion in economic activity in apples alone,” said USApple President and CEO Jim Bair. “Protecting pollinators is not just the ethically and environmentally right thing to do, it’s also good for our businesses.”
Pollinator Best Management Practices for Apples provides guidance for U.S. growers and regulators on pollinator protection in orchards. The document considers practical production needs and suggests elements of an outreach and education program to foster adoption and implementation of identified practices. The goal of the work is to increase understanding within the U.S. apple growing community of the benefits and opportunities around protecting pollinators while also recognizing the need to protect the crop from pest damage.
“The Honey Bee Health Coalition is pleased to have facilitated the development of this document that will provide practice recommendations to U.S. apple growers on how to improve the health of pollinators in their orchards,” said Matt Mulica, facilitator of the Honey Bee Health Coalition. “This process brought together apple growers, commercial beekeepers, and researchers to discuss issues related to bee health in orchards and provide specific actions to protect bees and enhance pollination services.”
Funded by USApple, the organization for the past year has worked with the Honey Bee Health Coalition and its technical experts to create the publication, which is finished just in time for apple bloom.
“It’s gratifying to see the results of our shared vision with the Honey Bee Health Coalition and the collective knowledge of the technical experts,” concluded Bair. “USApple, retailers and customers believe sustainability is critical, and these BMPs will be a helpful tool for continuing and expanding the efforts that are already underway.”