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2016 Quad Cities Pollinators Conference

 

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About the 2016 Conference

The conference was hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Nahant Marsh and planned by representatives from several organizations concerned with pollinator health.

As a committee, we made a conscious decision to invite all parties who have a stake in or play a role in the very serious problem of pollinator decline.

For this reason, we intentionally invited researchers, educators, small and large farmers, governmental agencies, conservation workers, backyard gardeners, and chemical companies. We wanted this conference to be an open dialogue that focuses on all facets of the problem and explores solutions.

Most importantly we wanted to raise awareness about the issues and broadly share information. We believe this was a unique opportunity to interact with leading experts in the field and share concerns. We appreciate all that were able to attend, sponsor, and participate.

Pollinator Background

Pollinators are a critical natural resource in agriculture and healthy ecosystems, but there has been a significant pollinator decline over the past few decades.

Pollinators are necessary to ensure our food supply.  This symposium will cover plant-pollinator relationships, pollinator decline, and how everyday citizens, farmers, and landowners, can make a difference.   Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators; including, honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment.  Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy and keep fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets.  Of the 100 crops that make up 90 percent of the global food supply, 71 are dependent on bees.  Although our main cash crops (corn and soybeans) are self-pollinating, insects do pollinate both plants and may be more important than historically thought. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States. (Source)