Pollinator Protection Plan
As the state’s lead agency for pesticide regulation, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), in cooperation with agency stakeholders, developed Virginia’s Voluntary Plan to Mitigate the Risk of Pesticides to Managed Pollinators (also known as the Pollinator Protection Plan). The development of Virginia’s Voluntary Plan to Mitigate the Risk of Pesticides to Managed Pollinators (Plan) is part of a national effort by state and federal agencies to help reverse pollinator losses and restore pollinator populations.
VDACS’ Plan is a voluntary, proactive approach which focuses on enhanced communication and coordination between agricultural producers, landowners, pesticide applicators and beekeepers as a means to further protect pollinators. In addition to focusing on communication, the plan provides best practices that can be implemented by beekeepers, commercial applicators and agricultural producers. Virginia’s Plan is not intended to prohibit, eliminate or further restrict the application of pesticides, but rather reduce the risk of pesticide exposure to pollinators when pesticides are used nearby or within their normal foraging range. In all cases, pesticide applications must be made in accordance with the pesticide label and all applicable federal and state pesticide laws and regulations.
In January and February 2016, VDACS hosted seven listening sessions at various locations throughout Virginia to seek input from stakeholders on the critical elements to be included in Virginia’s Voluntary Plan to Mitigate the Risk of Pesticides to Managed Pollinators. Approximately 450 agricultural producers, beekeepers, private and commercial pesticide applicators, landowners, researchers and cooperative extension agents participated. In addition, the agency received 169 written comments.
An advisory committee of individuals representing the major stakeholder groups reviewed the Plan and provided input on the proposed methods to enhance communication between beekeepers and applicators, producers and landowners. In addition, the stakeholder groups developed their respective Best Management Practices included in the Plan (see links below).
Voluntary Plan to Mitigate the Risk of Pesticides to Managed Pollinators was completed in May 2017.
Best Management Practices: Horticultural Industry (pdf)
Liza Fleeson Trossbach, Program Manager
Office of Pesticide Services
Keith Tignor, State Apiarist
Office of Plant Industry Services
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