The impact of pests, pathogens, pesticides, and poor forage upon our honey bees and native pollinators has honey bee health at the edge with one small change
enough to crash the system of pollination service. Southern states are vowing to control the Chinese tallow tree in the landscape. Yet, this imported plant has become a vital source of nectar for honey bees. A variety of states are beginning to enact invasive weed control programs, with no plan to restore a native plant in place of the invasive, or to understand that many invasive plants are nectar and pollen sources for honey bees. Many invasive plants are growing where nothing else will; have limited pesticide exposure, and therefore support millions of pollinators whose habitat is dwindling.
Commercial beekeepers who travel the country pollinating America’s food supply rely on pollinator supportive plants for their honey bees in between crop pollination services, as a wintering area for their bees prior to the start of almond pollination season, and simply to make a honey crop. Chinese tallow tree nectar is fairly pesticide-free, and thus healthier food for the bees.
State governments and researchers are seeking funding now to introduce the non-native ﬂea beetle, Bikasha collaris, as a biological control for the Chinese tallow tree (Triadica sebifera). Beekeepers are concerned about the effects of releasing a non-native insect into the American ecosystem, and about the loss of this vital pollinator forage. Learn more about a project proposal to introduce the non-native flea beetle in Louisiana . View a map of the Federal lands in Louisiana that could be affected if the non-native flea beetle is introduced. And then contact your legislator and ask him/her to oppose this action and protect this vital source of nectar for honeybees.