House unanimously adopts Matzie’s ‘Pollinator Week’ resolution

Recognizes importance of bees, other pollinators, beekeepers to state’s food supply

HARRISBURG, June 12 – Raising awareness about the essential role bees and other pollinators play in producing many of the commonwealth’s foods is the aim of a resolution the House adopted unanimously today, according to the author, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny.

House Resolution 385, designating the week of June 17 to June 23, 2019, as “Pollinator Week” in Pennsylvania, also recognizes the critical contributions made by beekeepers and other groups that promote pollination.

“It’s been said that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat,” Matzie said. “That’s not surprising considering the vital role they play in maintaining natural plant communities and ensuring production of seeds in flowering plants. In fact, pollinators serve more than 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops, adding $217 billion to the global economy.

“Unfortunately, honeybee colonies are declining as a result of pesticides, parasites and other factors, and their decreasing population could gravely impact our food supply. It’s my hope that this resolution will help raise awareness about the all-important role bees and other pollinators play so we can work toward better protecting them.”

According to the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting pollinators and their ecosystems, honeybees alone account for $1.2 billion to $5.4 billion in agricultural productivity in the United States. Pollinators also promote healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize the soil, protect crops from severe weather and support other wildlife.

In addition to the work of Pollinator Partnership, Matzie’s resolution recognizes the efforts of the Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association, the state Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension and Delaware Valley College for their collective work on processes that promote pollination and beekeeping.