41 Rose Kachadoorian – What States Are Doing For Pollinator Health


Speaker 1: From the Oregon State University Extension Service, this is Pollination, a podcast that tells the stories of researchers, land managers, and concerned citizens making bold strides to improve the health of pollinators. I'm your host, Dr. Adoni Melopoulos, assistant professor in pollinator health in the Department of Horticulture.

Today on Pollination, we're going to be talking about what states can do for pollinator health, and I'm really delighted to finally welcome Rose Kachadorian onto Pollination. I've been working really closely with Rose over the past year. OSU Extension and ODA have a real close working relationship, and Rose has been the real key to that relationship. Rose is a pesticide regulatory leader with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and she oversees efforts involving pesticide registrations, certification, and licensing of pesticide applicators, endangered species, and other pesticide-related issues. She's been with ODA for over 20 years, and she's also really heavily involved, as you're going to hear in this episode, with pollinator protection issues at both the state, but also the national level. Rose is the president-elect of the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials, or APCO, and she's the co-chair of APCO's Pollinator Protection Work Group. She's also served on EPA's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee, and the Pollinator Metrics Work Group, and those are ways to be able to measure how these state plans are progressing. Anyway, it's a really fascinating issue. Rose knows a lot about pesticides and pollinators, and it's a great insight into how states are approaching the question of pollinator health. Alright, I am in Salem today with Rose Kachadurian from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Welcome to pollination.

Speaker 2: Oh, thank you. Thank you for inviting me.

Speaker 1: Now, in 2015, I think everybody remembers there was a big commitment to pollinators from the federal government. But what about the states? How states have responded to issues around pollinator health?

Speaker 2: Yeah, well, the states actually worked very closely with EPA. EPA had a mandate through President Obama's plan, and we worked closely with the states to develop pollinator protection plans, and those looked really different in each state. Some of the states were really focused on managed pollinators, the European honeybee. And other states, because they did not have a real active commercial beekeeping industry, they were focused on developing habitats in order to increase pollinator health, working with native bees, and maybe some backyard beekeepers. And so basically, all of the states have some form of pollinator plan.

I think maybe Alaska is one that doesn't, though. We've worked together to put all of this information together on an Excel spreadsheet, which we have located on a site, the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials. And so anybody can go to that site.

Speaker 1: We'll link it on the show notes so people can take a look.

Speaker 2: Oh, great idea. Great idea. And so people can get an idea of who the contact people are in various states and what are some of the components, were they working with stakeholder groups, and that sort of information. We've also worked really closely with the US EPA and the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee to develop metrics or measures of success because we've all spent a lot of time developing these plans that we think are really great. And for various reasons, some geared towards reducing pesticide exposure, others increasing habitat, but how do we measure whether these are working or not? And so we've developed some measures of success and continue to kind of revise some of those measures. And so all the states that have plans, which again, I believe, are all except Alaska, will be responding to a survey with some parameters in that survey. Okay.

Speaker 1: So let me just go over that again. So each of these states has, and it sounds like a really great approach, because they're very kind of specific approaches for the states, not like the federal government has mandated environmental protection agencies as they've asked states to develop, and departments of agriculture imagine largely.

Speaker 2: It's largely, but in some states, it's the extension. In our state, it's kind of an extension state lead agency partnership. In other states, it's really a particular agricultural commission or a particular grower group who has said, look, we're going to be the ones who actually develop it. But I think for the most part, it is the state Department of Agriculture that is developing these.

Speaker 1: Okay. So then in addition to that, there are ways in which each of the states have representatives that get together and discuss things like, how do you measure if these plans are having any impact? Yes.

Speaker 2: Yes. That's actually been really an important component of it. Actually, EPA is really interested in that. EPA is particularly interested in the one part as far as how are we measuring the reduction in pesticide exposure because that was one of the things that they told the states, look, we would like for your plans to include this. And so it was, we did receive some direction from the US EPA, but they really left it up to the states to develop their plans, which I think really has been the smartest way to go about it. Also, the states are working with the US EPA in the development of their policy to address pesticides that are acutely toxic to bees. The states were really engaged in providing feedback when we saw the draft policy.

I think we all want pesticide labels that are protective yet flexible. And, you know, sometimes it takes a little work to have both of them, but it is possible. Okay.

Speaker 1: So another element of having state lead agencies and develop these plans, you do get together and it becomes a great way for EPA to hear about some of the issues, especially as you point out really thinking about the risk assessment procedure and ways that pesticides will be labeled in the future. And this gives them a really great sounding board for getting that information.

Speaker 2: Yes, yes, that's correct. We have the state lead agencies have really unique relationship with EPA. We meet with them several times a year and provide feedback to them, but also updates on what we're doing and they can provide commentary to us. And so we've got a really great kind of feedback loop with EPA.

Speaker 1: Now, one thing that I've noticed is common in all of these plans and also in the measurements of these plans is this idea that if beekeepers and pesticide applicators had more communication, that may go a long way to reducing exposure of honeybee colonies. Can you talk a little bit more about why communication is so important and what can states do to improve this communication?

Speaker 2: Yeah, you know, the really communication and awareness I think is really an important part of all of these plans. And you've got a lot of different people involved sometimes with pesticide applications, certainly the communication between the beekeeper and the farmers, the most important. But you need to have also communication between the beekeeper and whether there's a pesticide consultant, because sometimes that pesticide consultant doesn't know that the beekeeper is going to be bringing bees or sometimes there could be even bees right on the farm and that consultant wouldn't know it. And so the farmer needs to provide information to that consultant. Then there also needs to be communication between the farmer and any kind of commercial pesticide applicator, because you might have a pesticide applicator that goes to a farm. He's been told by the consultant to use a particular pesticide and he gets there and there are bees or he finds out from the farmers that the bees are coming later on that afternoon.

So there needs to be better communication there. Also communication between the farmer and if he's going to have like a hired man make the pesticide application, maybe. Yeah, maybe that hired person is not licensed and hasn't been to all of these meetings where we're talking about pollinator protection. And so we want for that farmer to go over the pesticide label with that person who's going to make that application, talk to them about the restrictions on that pesticide label, talk about where the bees are located and the importance of not treating when the bees are foraging and to avoid spraying the hive because we've heard stories that the hired people don't even know not to spray the hives.

And it's just because they haven't been told. And so what we are trying to do is really increase that communication. There's also another part is communication with your neighbors. And this again is in an agricultural setting. Occasionally we'll get called by somebody, you know, maybe a Christmas tree grower or a snap bean grower who will tell us, you know, we really want to treat our field. We have to treat our field, but we don't know whose bees these are.

Speaker 1: And we don't... All right. And these would be crops where they don't need bees to make Christmas trees.

Speaker 2: Right.

Speaker 1: So they may not have the beekeeper or anything.

Speaker 2: Right. And you know, they might be in those Christmas trees because they're foraging on aphid honeydew or maybe there's some great blooming weeds in those Christmas trees. And you know, people really have an awareness level and they don't want to kill bees. And so if somebody is going to be contracting for pollination service and they know that maybe the bees are going to go to some other neighbor to just kind of open up that communication with them. And so, you know, when you think about it, that's like a lot of communication.

Speaker 1: How does... How can states help with that?

Speaker 2: There are a couple of different ways that states are dealing with it. Some states have a mapping system.

Speaker 1: Oh, so you like to map the honeybee colonies and you can look at them on like a... on your phone or something where they are.

Speaker 2: Yes. Exactly. And so you can know who to call. Like I know where those bees are and this is the name of the beekeeper. I'm going to contact that beekeeper and just kind of give them a heads-up when I need to spray. Okay.

And we can work something out. And other states have put out flags like the state of Mississippi has these black and yellow bee flags. And so let's say you're an aerial applicator, you can't maybe see where the beehives are at.

Well, maybe you can see this flag and know like, oh, there are bees right there. Gotcha. And other times it's just, you know, really through this development of standard operating procedures that growers build in this communication system with their neighbors and really develop closer relationships with them. Okay.

Speaker 1: The other thing that is in a lot of these pollinator protection plans are these best management practices. Can you give me... What is the best management practice? Can you give me an example of a best management practice that is designed to improve pollinator health?

Speaker 2: Yeah. Well, best management practices really are kind of, I guess, just thinking of like just kind of smart ways just to operate. They're not, you know, a law, you're not mandated to do it. But if you're going to be managing that crop in the best way possible, you would... A lot of crop producers kind of have their own best management practices already developed. But they haven't even labeled that. But I think if we can work with growers to have them write them down like within a stakeholder group that people can learn from each other, some examples would be like controlling the flowering weeds in your crop. So that example I gave about the Christmas tree farm and maybe they had a lot of blooming weeds to control those weeds.

Speaker 1: The idea would be if they had to apply something toxic to bees if they mowed the weeds out, then the exposure risk would be lower because the bees wouldn't be going there.

Speaker 2: Exactly. And maybe part of that farmer's best management practices would be to have a small set of land, maybe it wasn't growing anything on, set aside for pollinator habitat. So that person would end up having any kind of negative impact on the pollinators.

They could do something like that. A best management practice would be to really research the pesticides that you're going to be using, look at which ones are staying toxic longer on the leaf than others, the residual toxicity, and kind of have that all planned out.

Speaker 1: Also like selecting products that might be not toxic to bees or ones that break down very quickly, spray at night or something.

Speaker 2: Yes. So really, that's adjusting your timing spraying when the bees aren't foraging, selecting products that are the least toxic to bees, particularly if you have pollinators out there. And so maybe if you want to use a product with a long residual, then just wait until the plant is not in bloom anymore.

And then I use that. Another area where bees become exposed to plants would be if they're drinking water in ruts. If you go to some of these, because it rains a lot here in Oregon or we have areas that are irrigated, you'll have little ponds or ruts that fill with water. And then if a pesticide application is made, that water also becomes contaminated. And so that could serve as a source of drinking water for not only bees but possibly even birds. And so to really be aware if you've got these pools of water in your fields. So those are just a few examples.

And then, of course, the communication part that we spoke about. And then also being really aware of the pesticide label language, not only involving the residual toxicity, like how long it stays toxic but also any precautions with drift. I mean, there's been some issues that we've heard about, particularly in the Midwest, where they're planting large acreages with pesticide-treated seed. And then little pieces of that treatment, which is insecticide, kind of flick off and go off into a dust. And then that dust lands on nearby habitat. Because it just blows away.

It just blows away. And so to be really aware of that sort of situation as far as preventing that kind of dust off situation in the first place, but also to be aware of where bee habitat is near your pesticide applications. I mean, it's illegal to have drift anyway, but we really emphasize not to have drift on any kind of pollinator habitat or pollinator nesting ground.

Speaker 1: Well, I can see how these practices and I guess this goes into the managed pollinator protection plan, they've got these practices and then somebody who really wants to do the right thing can go through and say, I know drift is something that I'm not by law supposed to do, but here are a couple of steps to really kind of reducing it. I now have some options, like it really lays some practical ways to kind of solve these problems.

Speaker 2: Yes. And again, the managed pollinator plans, I think we're using that term in the MP3 as an acronym. But I think it's important for our listeners to know that they're really, these plans are really way beyond just trying to protect managed pollinators, particularly the honeybee, although we definitely want to protect honeybees. But a lot of these practices will protect native pollinators, whether they're bees or butterflies.

Speaker 1: Well, and as you pointed out, some plans like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania really broadened it out to involve the way that it's written for more than just managed pollinators.

Speaker 2: Yes, yes. And really in Oregon, that's also certainly part of our focus. You know, we have so many crops in this state that require pollination services. And really, if you talk to a lot of even the beekeepers, they'll say, well, we know those native bees are actually doing a really fair part of the pollination. So they're really contributing a lot.

Speaker 1: Well, Rose, let's take a break. Let's come back and talk specifically about Oregon because I think that's a really great segue to talking about what's happening in your state. Okay, before the break, you were talking about Oregon being, you know, having its peculiarities. And I just wanted to go over that a bit, because, you know, one of the issues that really galvanized Oregonians around pollinator health had nothing to do with managed pollinators and agriculture, but wild bumblebees in a suburban parking lot. And the other thing that you mentioned just before the break was that we're not like the Midwest with three crops. We have over 200 different crops growing in the state. Tell us more about the unique situation of Oregon and how we would approach something like an MP3.

Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah, no, that's a really good question. First, we want to actually comment on your statement about the bumblebees and how that kind of galvanized people. And, you know, I've thought about this a lot as far as like, why was it that incident that really got people?

Speaker 1: Some people might not know what that is.

Speaker 2: What happened in 2013? Okay, so we had a situation where a licensed pesticide applicator made an insecticide treatment to some linden trees pretty early in the morning. And then, you know, an hour or two later, bumblebees came out, a lot of bumblebees came out, and they came out from a nearby field. There was actually a clover seed field, and they flew over to some Linden trees that were in a parking lot, and it was a parking lot with a big box store. And then after a short period, shoppers started to notice all of these bumblebees just dropping from these large linden trees, dropping onto their cars.

And, you know, it's like you're trying to go into a store, you know, with your children, and you're walking over a bunch of dead bees or bees that are in the process of dying, buzzing. And so it just was so alarming for people because here it was a pesticide-related death occurring right where they were. And I think that really had a strong emotional impact on people. And they even held a funeral for the bees, because they were so distraught about the number of bees. You know, it's hard to really estimate how many died because they were being swept up because people were disturbed by seeing them. There was one estimate of 50,000 bumblebees.

We don't exactly know how accurate that is, but there were a lot of them. And I know our agency as well as some others had to actually take shade cloth and cover the trees, so the bumblebees wouldn't just keep going trying it. So linden trees are particularly attractive to bumblebees, and they were treated with a systemic insecticide. But kind of back to your original question about what makes Oregon so unique. Yes, we do have over 220 crops many of them requiring some kind of pollination service. And it's really different than many areas of the country where you'll have vast acreages of wheat and vast acreages of corn and soybeans. This is actually more of a patchwork of small, relatively small fields, particularly in Western Oregon. We also have a lot of water, especially in Western Oregon. And so we have riparian areas, well-maintained riparian areas. And so they often have a permanent vegetation with flowering plants and possibly nesting sites.

We also have a lot of undeveloped land and forested land, and a lot of these forested areas can serve as bee habitats, native bee habitats. And so I think a lot has to do with this type of typography. We also have a lot of different kinds of climate zones. And so that actually lends to some of the diversity. So we have the diversity in crops.

We have all of this undeveloped area, and then the different types of topography. But then our crops, so many of these crops that we're growing are actually great for pollinators. I think of clover grown for seed, oh my gosh. Great crop for bees. Yeah, yeah. And so Ag is actually having a positive influence on the pollinator population.

Speaker 1: That is pretty unique. And that's a unique story of agriculture contributing to managed and native bee populations. But I guess the other part of it is when I thought about the first segment where we're talking about best management practices, it may be very difficult to come up with a one-size-fits-all all best management practice when you have like landscaper concerns or different from seed growers concerns or different from somebody who's growing Christmas trees. So that must make the task of best management practices kind of tricky. How are you planning to deal with this problem in Oregon?

Speaker 2: Yeah, I think there are some broad concepts that really go across all crop types. As far as reading the label, and knowing about residual toxicity, there are some that I think everyone can use. But I think that we have some crops here, particularly our specialty seed crops grow a lot of vegetable seed here, a lot of forage seed, that I think that they can, they're so specialized that to work with them to develop their own best management practices or standard operating procedures, however you want to term it, I think that that actually ends up being a lot more useful for those particular crops.

I think that particularly with crops that are blooming over an extended period of time. So that really kind of makes it more difficult to kind of figure out what your best management practices really need to be. And so to kind of have this already written plan that has been agreed upon as far as a good idea, you don't have to follow it, but it's a good idea, I think would be really useful for people who want to do the right thing, but just don't know what that is, what would that look like?

Speaker 1: And I guess the second part of the uniqueness is we do have pretty high native bee biodiversity. And one of the issues that Oregonians really, I remember looking at some of the legislation that came out of the Bumblebee incident, and they really did, Oregonians didn't just want a honeybee-focused program, they wanted it broader.

Speaker 2: Yes, absolutely. They care deeply about their native bees. Even, though I'm an entomologist, I'm also still shocked at where we find these bees. I was walking with one of our bee experts, and we were walking over by the parking lot, and she pointed out these holes in the soil, and said, there are native bees here. And it's like, you know, I don't think of, I think of a lot of times native bee habitat as like this pristine area that needs to be protected and everything, but here they're everywhere. And it's so encouraging.

Speaker 1: One important feature of the Oregon plan is an improved approach to reporting and investigating potential bee poisoning for pesticides. Can you explain what this is to you? Like let's say I have, I notice some bees, I'm walking home and I see some dead bees, like what, how does that work?

Speaker 2: Yeah, you know, every state varies, and you know, their response to bee kills and you know, how many people they have in their resources, but with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, we respond to all allegations of bee kills due to pesticides. Oh really? Yes, yes. So we'll go to a site, and somebody will call us up and say, I believe my bees have died due to pesticides.

We will go 100% of the time to that location. We'll take a look at the hives. A lot of times we'll work with Oregon State University and their experts, or we'll take a local beekeeper because sometimes the beekeepers will know maybe symptoms of starvation or for all minds.

Speaker 1: Right, there are other reasons that honey bee calling might die. Yeah, and so I would say the vast majority of times that we're called out, it is not pesticide-related, but it is something, especially with maybe some of the smaller beekeepers that are just kind of getting into it and are still learning.

And I think it's natural to kind of think, oh, they're dead. It's because of the pesticides, but it's for the most part, not pesticide-related. But if we think it might be pesticide-related based on the information we gather, we'll definitely run an analysis. For example, in that previous situation, I told you about, linden trees, we collected a lot of dead bees, we collected a lot of linden tree flowers and leaves, and we analyzed it all. So we have a very good laboratory. And so we do utilize our laboratory to determine whether a bee kill is pesticide-related if we can't say, wow, this is clearly starvation or veromite or some kind of protozoan or some other issue.

Okay, so a report comes in, an investigator is dispatched and they'll come through and they'll help make a determination and work through and give you a piece of mind as to what the problem was.

Speaker 2: Yes, yes. The one thing though that we do urge people not to do is not to clean up all the dead bees and put them in a jar for us and do all these other things. You know, I mean, I kind of almost think of it like a, you know, going to a crime scene, even though, you know, we don't know if a crime has been committed or not, but that you just kind of leave things the way they are and you call us when you first discover the issue. I mean, so often people will call us up and they'll say, well, I noticed that all the bees died three months ago or they died, you know, quite a while ago, we'll get there, the bees are half degraded, all crunchy. And in that case, we know that the pesticides aren't going to even be there anymore. And so if they can call us right when they think that there is a bee killed due to pesticides, then we'll be able to do our job much better and try to figure out what happened to these bees.

Speaker 1: And let's see that happens. What, let's say you determine, oh, there has been, how do you kind of figure out what piece together? What happened? Now let's be complicated.

Speaker 2: It's very complicated. It's actually very complicated because bees can fly from so many, you know, they have a wide range that they fly in. So we try to figure out who's making applications at that time of year to actually look at what crops are growing, what crops might have weeds in the field. You know, sometimes we do some driving around, looking around and trying to find an answer. I mean, there are some times we just can't figure out where they got into a particular chemical, but we do have a way of knowing what chemicals are used on specific crops. We do have databases so we can at least get an idea of what crops we're looking for.

Speaker 1: Okay, and the one thing I will mention, you guys have a fabulous website that sort of outlines all this. I'm gonna link it on the show notes so that you see a bunch of dead bumblebees or something like that. You can follow the instructions on that website and initiate this kind of investigation.

Speaker 2: Wow, yeah, that's a great idea. You know, one of the things you touched on if we have time to talk about is you talked about how we're responding as a state because we're so unique.

Oh, yeah, yeah. And you know, this is kind of an interesting question because we have for years been doing education around this concept of coexistence. And you know, I think initially our education surrounded the use of certain pesticides that might damage other crops. For example, we have some really sensitive crops here, grapes, and nursery crops that might be sensitive to phenoxy herbicides. And so we really stress the idea of coexistence. So if you have a neighbor with weed or grass seed or some other crop that you might be applying phenoxy herbicides to, be really sensitive to the nearby crop.

Speaker 1: Oh, as part of a specialty crop state, there's probably lots of land use that can come into conflict very easily.

Speaker 2: Exactly, exactly. And so really there are some parallels with the bee situation. And I think that's why Oregon farmers have responded so readily because it really does go along with the concept of coexistence and how important it is if we're going to have such a diverse state that we have to learn how to respect each other, get along with each other, not allow drift to happen, not to kill bees that happen to be foraging in our field and just get along. I mean, we all need bees and we all need food crops.

Speaker 1: Having gone to meetings with beekeepers and growers with you, you really do get a sense of a willingness to cooperate. Growers in the state really have a lot of respect for the beekeepers and the beekeepers themselves really have good working relationships with their growers. It's really a standing, it was one of the first things I noticed when I got to the state is the level of cooperation.

Speaker 2: Yes, yes. I think it's been an outstanding process to watch and just as we certify the Oregon Department of Agriculture, we review requests for classes to see if they could be approved for kind of continuing education credits for licensed applicators. And it's amazing how many classes there have been on pollinator protection and many of them that you've taught and don't.

Speaker 1: I've seen a lot of the state. And so, it must be really popular that people keep getting asked to talk about this. And it just really shows you the importance for everyone.

Well, definitely. It's an exciting time to be an Oregon and pollinator protection. Let's take a break and we're gonna come back. I have got some questions I wanna ask you. We ask all our guests, I'm really curious what your answer is gonna be. Okay.

Okay, Rose, we ask all our guests the same questions and we're really curious about your answers. The first question we have is, is there a book that you would recommend? It's a real influential book for you on beads.

Speaker 2: I do a lot of reading, but when I think of the word influential, I think of something that maybe piqued my interest initially. And this might be really strange, but there's a book I read as a child. And it's called A Story of Ferdinand. And Ferdinand. Ferdinand. Yeah, Ferdinand.

Ferdinand is a bull. Oh, really? Yeah, and he just kind of hangs out with these flowers that have all these bees in them and they all get along. Is this like a picture book? Yeah, it's for really young children. It has some words and yeah, it's great for kids.

Speaker 1: So he says bull, he's in the flower patch, sniffing the flowers and all that stuff.

Speaker 2: Yeah, and he's kind of coexisting with the... Nice connection. With the flowers and the bees, until he sits on one of the bees. Oh no. And then he becomes a raging bull. But I guess it just, and then there's the whole long story, which I won't get into, but I guess it was the first time that I really thought about bees and how great they were just out there with the flowers. And if you don't bother them, they won't bother you but don't sit on them.

Speaker 3: And so, so that's, I guess, my favorite or most influential book.

Speaker 1: Well, we were talking about this earlier and the thing I really liked about the story is, you sometimes think, oh, the bull is this angry creature, but actually the bull really just wants to hang out with the flowers. There's something, I actually feel like that bull, I think I'm most happiest when I'm sort of transing around a meadow with the flowers. I'm gonna call myself Bertina.

Speaker 2: Yeah, really? Maybe that's why I identify with it too.

Speaker 1: Well, the second question we asked is, and you've got a very unique line of work. We asked people, what's an important tool they use for doing the kind of work they do with pollinators. I can't imagine what your tool is.

Speaker 2: Well, yeah, there's probably driver, most people I imagine, but we actually send all of our pesticide labels to Washington State University and SODA, the Washington Department of Ag, and they go through each and every pesticide label and they look at what crops are on that particular pesticide label and what pests are on that label and they developed a database and it's called the Pesticide Information Center Online and we call it Pickle.

Pickle. And so you can link to it from the Oregon Department of Agriculture's website. And then I also spent a lot of time on the pesticide product and label system, this is PPLS on EPA's website. And that's where I can find the latest pesticide label. If I'm curious about when label language changed on a particular label, like when it goes from bees visiting bees foraging or something, I can take a look at each revision of that label. And then I actually use EPA's website a lot. They have one called Protecting Bees and Other Pollinators from Pesticides. And that links you to all kinds of information. Some of them, some of the information is highly tactical and probably your average homeowner might not want to wade through all that, but there is a lot of information in there that I think is accessible to most people.

Speaker 1: Those are great suggestions, we'll link them on the show notes. And the nice thing, I think maybe people don't know is that a pesticide label in another state may not necessarily be the same label that you have in Oregon. That's why you would go to something like Pickle.

Speaker 2: Yeah, dude, go to, you know, it's interesting. Pesticide labels, we spend, of course, we have to register, we register all pesticides and we have over 13,000 pesticides registered and almost close to 14,000 sometimes. And we're constantly getting revisions. And so the pesticide label that we might have registered might be different than another label. And what's on the container that a farmer has could even be more different because it maybe it's two years old. And so there's a lot of variety. And so that's one of the reasons I kind of go back to this PPLS on EPA's website is because I can kind of get a timeframe of when these pesticide labels changed.

Speaker 1: That's really great. And I have to say, I find EPA very hard to navigate. Like some of these docket systems, it can sometimes become hard to find things in there. But it's nice that there is a pollinator, there is a specific pollinator page, at least where you can get some stuff.

Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah, there is a pollinator page and it's a little tip if you're going to go to EPA's website. Sometimes it's their search engine isn't as good as, you know, Google or some of the other search engines. So sometimes it's just easier to kind of search for it online and then go directly to that particular site for EPA rather than go to the EPA search engine.

Speaker 3: That's what I was doing wrong. It's so. They'll get lost.

Speaker 1: Well, our last question for you is your favorite pollinator.

Speaker 2: Wow. Gosh, you know, when I went out to visit with the alfalfa seed growers, I was actually really amazed at the alkali bee beds.

Speaker 1: Oh, yes. Excellent. Yeah.

Speaker 2: Great suggestion. Yeah, that here you have these, you know, long-term farmers and, you know, there could be stereotypes as far as they're just caring about their crop. But here they are tending these bee beds and just doing a marvelous job at it. And the fact that these bees are living happily in agriculture, and yet they are doing such a great service for pollinating the alfalfa. I didn't even know until I talked to the alfalfa seed growers that honey bees aren't that fond of alfalfa because they kind of, there's a tripping mechanism in the alfalfa flower that kind of knocks the honey bee in the head and the honey bee doesn't like that. But these alkali bees will tolerate that and pollinate the alfalfa. So I kind of endeared myself to them that they deal with all this and happily pollinate the alfalfa and then go back to their alkali bee beds.

Speaker 1: Well, I will put a link to, I think I was up in one of the, I had the good fortune of seeing one of these beds on National Pollinator Week last year. And the really remarkable thing is it's the only ground nesting manate, I mean, it's a native bee, it's a native, like that it's a ground-nesting solitary bee, but it's the only one that's managed like that anywhere on the planet. Like, and we have it here in the Pacific Northwest.

Speaker 3: It's such a great, it's such a beautiful bee. A great suggestion. As you're the first one, 30 some episodes, guys have been waiting for somebody to like that bee.

Speaker 2: Wow, they just don't know about that bee.

Speaker 1: Well, it was a real pleasure talking with you today.

Speaker 2: Yeah, this is so fun. Well, thank you.

Speaker 1: Hopefully we can catch up again in the future. Okay, that sounds good. Thanks so much for listening. Show notes with information discussed in each episode can be found at pollinationpodcast.oregonstate.edu. We'd also love to hear from you and there are several ways to connect. For one, you can visit our website to post an episode-specific comment, suggest a future guest or topic, or ask a question that could be featured in a future episode. You can also email us at pollinationpodcast at organstate.edu. Finally, you can tweet questions or comments or join our Facebook or Instagram communities. Just look us up at OSU Pollinator Health. If you like the show, consider letting iTunes know by leaving us a review or rating.

It makes us more visible, which helps others discover pollination. See you next week.

Rose Kachadoorian is a Pesticide Regulatory Leader with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and oversees efforts involving pesticide registrations, certification and licensing of pesticide applicators, endangered species, and other pesticide related issues. She has been with ODA for over 20 years. She is also very heavily involved with pollinator protection issues at both the state and national level. Ms. Kachadoorian is President-Elect of the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO), and is a Co-Chair of AAPCO’s Pollinator Protection Workgroup. She has also served on EPA’s Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) Pollinator Metrics Workgroup.

Listen in to learn how your local and country agencies have fought for pollinator health, and what changes are taking place with farmers and regulators.

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“Communication and awareness is key to state plans.“ – Rose Kachadoorian

Show Notes:

  • How states have responded to issues about pollinator health
  • How the EPA and the states worked together to form pollinator protection
  • Why this partnership for pollinators really helps out the EPA
  • Why communication between every involved party is so important when applying pesticides
  • What bee flags are, and how Mississippi has used them
  • What best management practices exist for maintaining pollinator health
  • Why a certain incident really kicked off the pollinator protection movement in Oregon
  • How that incident caused broad awareness for all pollinators, not just honeybees
  • What makes Oregon unique in their response to incidents between bees and pesticides
  • Rose’s advice for beekeepers who suspect a pesticide-related incident
  • The process of determining the real cause of a bee-kill
  • Why pesticide labels should be checked with the EPA’s online database

“We did receive some direction from the EPA, but they really left it up to the states in developing their own plans, which really has been the smartest way to go about it.“ – Rose Kachadoorian

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