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Virginia plan to protect honeybees goes into effect

(Photo, MGN Online)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- State officials have finalized a pesticide-management plan meant to protect honeybees and other pollinators from further population declines.

The Roanoke Times reports the voluntary plan mainly encourages beekeepers and pesticide applicators to better communicate about the location of hives and the dates and times of pesticide spraying. It does not strengthen existing pesticide regulations.

The plan stems from an Obama administration directive calling for a national strategy to safeguard pollinators.

For more than a decade, bees and other pollinators have been rapidly declining. Scientists blame a mix of parasites, disease, pesticides and poor nutrition.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says farmers and gardeners depend on pollinators to produce important Virginia crops, including pumpkins, watermelons and berries.

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