ODA launches new native bee health pilot program –

Goals include field research, public outreach and education, and the creation of an Oregon Bee Farm Certification to reward farmers who adopt bee-friendly practices.

Jan Jackson/For the Capital Press

Sarah Kincaid, entomologist with Oregon Department of Agriculture, introduces the Oregon Bee Project to attendees at the recent Small Farm Conference on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.

SALEM — With the help of a specialty crop block grant and the expertise of agriculture professionals and volunteers, the state Department of Agriculture is launching a pilot Oregon Bee Project to help improve and ensure the health of 500-plus native species of bees that help pollinate many crops.

Project goals include field research, public outreach and education, and the creation of an Oregon Bee Farm Certification to reward farmers who adopt bee-friendly practices.

“We’re fortunate to have such a wealth of human capital standing by to help us with this project,” Sarah Kincaid, an entomologist with ODA, said. “We will be holding a series of meetings around to state to get input from farmers, conservationists and other agencies and organizations who would like to contribute to the project. We recently held our first advisory meeting in Portland, and plan to hold others in Myrtle Point, Central Point, The Dalles, Hermiston and the Willamette Valley.”

In addition to the…

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