Task force will research ways to protect Madison’s honeybees

Pollinator Protection Taskforce will look at recommendations from property owners
Task force will research ways to protect Madison’s honeybees

A task force will research the problem of Colony Collapse Disorder, which directly affects honeybees and other pollinators, in the Madison area, according to a release.

The Madison Common Council adopted a resolution earlier this month directing the Madison Food Policy Council to lead the task force, which will be composed mainly of city staff, officials said. The task force will provide recommendations to departments and the common council on local solutions to protect pollinators.

Madison’s Pollinator Protection Task Force will monitor the progress of the federal task force, use best practices to inform its work and review relevant recommendations from the federal government, according to the release.

“Pollinator loss is a significant issue that threatens our food and agriculture systems,” Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said in the release. “While we appreciate the leadership of the administration, we must look at local options to promote the health of some of our six-legged hardest workers.”

City departments that will be part of the task force include parks, engineers, planning and public health, according to the release. It will be led by a small group of members of the Madison Food Policy Council.

The task force will review each relevant department’s current practices, best practices from other communities and make recommendations to improve the health and habitat of pollinators on city and private land, officials said. The task force will explore possible changes, like limiting certain pesticides, increasing pollinator-friendly plantings on city land and recommendations from property and homeowners.

Task force recommendations are due to the mayor and common council by Aug. 15, 2015.