Harry Vanderpool on PolliNation with Andony Melathopoulos

Harry Vanderpool has been a beekeeper for 25 years in the south hills of Salem, Oregon. Vanderpool Farms is now a family operation providing pollination services and farm direct honey. Harry has served as Vice President and President of the Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association and Vice President and President of the Oregon State Beekeepers Association, and enjoys working with stakeholders and sometimes conflicting agricultural sectors in a balanced manner to find solutions that will offer meaningful pollinator protection strategies.

Listen in to learn Harry’s effective communication methods, how he builds bridges with others in agriculture, and what he’s done for pollinators in the PNW.

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“We’re really all working hard and trying to make a living at the same time, and working together is the answer to that.” – Harry Vanderpool

Show Notes:

  • How Harry learned to communicate with growers who use pesticides with his bees
  • ‘Christmas tree honey’ and why it attracts honeybees
  • The key for Harry in developing good relationships with pesticide applicators
  • How to help crop producers understand the role bees play and how it will help them
  • How Harry further develops the partnership between his bees and the growers
  • Why it’s important that ‘pollination services’ are provided instead of renting the hives
  • The way Harry helps others use resources to prevent bee poisoning with pesticides
  • What resources Harry has provided to crop consultants, growers, and beekeepers in the Pacific Northwest, and how it has affected pollinator health

“There’s no easy money in agriculture, and banging your fist on the table and pointing your finger will put walls up. I want to build bridges.” – Harry Vanderpool

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Dale Mitchell on PolliNation with Andony Melathopoulos

Beginning in 2013, Oregon faced a series of bumble bee poisoning incidences associated with pesticide use on linden trees. In response, the Oregon Legislature passed the Avoidance of Adverse Effects on Pollinating Insects bill. A key provision of this legislation was for Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to develop a bee incidence reporting system to facilitate public reporting of incidences related to pollinator health. This week we hear about how this reporting system works from Dale Manager, a Program Manager with ODA’s Pesticide section. This week’s guest host is Oregon Bee Project’s Steering Committee member and ODA’s Pesticide Registration and Certification Specialist Gilbert Uribe.

Listen in to this episode to learn how the Department of Agriculture handles suspected pesticide-related bee incidents, and what they do to prevent them.

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“I would like to encourage any citizens within the state of Oregon to report any suspected bee related incident. That information is valuable to the department and others involved in evaluating pollinator health.” – Dale Mitchell

Show Notes:

  • When Dale got started in the Department of Agriculture’s pesticide division
  • What steps are taken in a normal bee kill investigation
  • How the investigative process changes under different conditions
  • What separates the bee kill investigations from their normal procedures
  • How the Department of Agriculture enforces their rules and regulations
  • How the ODA’s process compares to those of other states
  • Why Oregon’s data collection follows a national guideline
  • What changed since the Wilsonville bee incident
  • Why the Wilsonville incident gained so much public awareness

“Bee or pollinator concerns is only one type of investigative activity that we follow up on, but the process is really a fact finding process.” – Dale Mitchell

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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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Doug Sponsler on PolliNation with Andony Melathopoulos

Doug is currently a postdoctoral scholar at Penn State University’s Center for Pollinator Research. He was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and he went on to receive his PhD from Ohio State University. His research brings spatial ecology perspectives to the topics of pollinator foraging and toxicology, with particular emphasis on urban plant-pollinator interactions and mechanistic understandings of toxic exposure.

Listen in as we go over pesticide’s effects on pollinators, the difficulties in testing, and the advantages certain insects have in fighting pesticides.

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“It’s a bit ironic that the most convenient organism for which to study toxicology from a logistical perspective, the honey bee, is also the most problematic one for which to interpret toxicology.“ – Doug Sponsler

Show Notes:

  • What determines risk of a pesticide’s effect on pollinators
  • Why toxicity is talked about more than exposure
  • How field experiments on pesticides and pollinators can run into problems
  • How the EPA’s new BeeREX model helps in risk assessment
  • What the “dynamic hazard surface” can explain about the complexity of pesticide testing
  • Why the fully distributional nature of exposure is necessary
  • Why honeybee’s social complexity aids in defending them against pesticides

“[current models for pesticide exposure to bees in risk assessment] are good, but they do not get to the behavioral and chemical mechanics of exposure that go into bringing a bee into intersection with a pesticide.” – Doug Sponsler

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