Pa lawmakers hear the plight of beekeepers

Written by Rachel McDevitt | May 23, 2017 5:25 PM

(Harrisburg) -- For years, beekeepers have been trying to raise the alarm on the declining population of bees, which play a big role in pollinating our crops.

On Monday, Pennsylvania lawmakers on the Joint Legislation Conservation Committee heard testimony on the challenges facing beekeepers in the commonwealth.

Bee experts told lawmakers some beekeepers are losing up to 60 percent of their bees in a single year. The pollinators face threats from what have been dubbed as the four Ps: pesticides, poor nutrition, pathogens, and parasites.

Penn State entomologist Harland Patch said stakeholder groups in the commonwealth are coming together to create a Pennsylvania Pollinator Protection Plan.

Their goal is create a living, web-based document to aggregate PA-specific information, resources and programs "that serves as a framework for improving pollinator policy, programs, and literacy; and helps form strong communications systems for Pennsylvania programs and organizations, help leverage our expertise, our personnel and our resources," Patch said.

They hope to have the plan done by July.

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