Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pollinators and Pesticides

Major pollinators have nerve transmission systems.

Pesticides have no options but to treat pollinators with nerve transmission systems in the same way as they help to control target organisms or pests.

This implies that agriculturists must apply reentry intervals to pollinators, or provide pollinators with defenses to carry on with their natural activities soon after pesticides are applied.

There are many alternatives to help pollinators and pesticides to co-exist. Here are a few to which you can add your other ideas and suggestions:

A. Use egg parasites, and other beneficial insects, as parts of IPM, during flowering.

B. Ring fields of self-pollinated and hybrid-seed crops with rows of cross-pollinated crops known to be favored by specific pollinators.

C. Keep pollinator-rearing devices and areas away from spray drift.

D. Add herbal repellents to pesticide sprays so that dermal, inhalation, and oral toxicities to pollinators are avoided.

E. Introduce pollinator strains with tolerances to specific pesticides such as Endosulfan.

This is not an exhaustive list. The aim is to start a dialog on balancing IPM with pollinator conservation goals.

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