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Public Invited to Comment on Pollinator Protection Plan
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/20/2016

Wisconsin residents are being encouraged to share their thoughts on a new plan developed in response to risks facing pollinators, such as bees and other insects. The proposed system, which was developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Entomology Department and Department of Agriculture, consists of an analysis of scientific data about risks to pollinators. It also lays out recommended management practices to protect pollinators.

"This plan offers science-based recommendations to beekeepers, gardeners and homeowners, farmers, and anyone with land that can provide habitat for pollinators," said State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel. "It is entirely voluntary; it is not a new set of regulations. We owe a debt of gratitude to our panel of stakeholders who spent hours considering the data and discussing the best management practices to protect pollinators."

For honey bees, the risks include parasites, pathogens and lack of genetic diversity. Both honey bees and other pollinators are affected by loss of habitat, inadequate forage, and pesticide exposure.

The plan is available online at datcp.wi.gov; search for "pollinator protection plan." Comments on the draft are being accepted through February 19.

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