News Column

Bees' Decline Is Topic of Public Forum at UNM

June 4, 2013
oranges

The rapid decline of the honey bee population is putting the food supply chain in danger, says Alisha Forrester Scott, who is organizing a conference to seek solutions.

Scott is the founder of Pollinator Support Movement, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "save and restore bees and the food supply chain."

"Bees pollinate fruits, vegetables, nuts and spices. As Americans, we need 4 (billion) to 6 billion solitary bees to retain control and ownership of our local and regional food supply chain," according to Pollinator Support Movement.

Honey bees have been on a rapid decline since 2006 and, according to Scott, roughly one-third of the honey bee population has died. As there are multiple contributors for this population decrease, Pollinator Support Movement believes it is vital to create new ways to control the food supply chain, without the pollen from honey bees. Scott says one solution is to focus on pollination from native solitary bees.

In an effort to generate conversation on what to do next, spread awareness and educate the community, the group is holding a two-day conference, BeeSWeek 2013: Scientific and Community Panel Forums. It is scheduled from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. today and Tuesday at the Science and Math Learning Center Auditorium at the University of New Mexico. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online at pollinatorsupportmovement.com or at the door (credit cards only).

According to the group, it hopes to "prevent a rapid rise in food costs by providing alternate solutions" to pollinate crops. During the conference, Scott says there will be local and national experts to help start a conversation about what to do next.



Source: (c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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