Request for Proposals – February 2015 Pollinator Partnership Corn Dust Research Consortium

The Pollinator Partnership has formed a Corn Dust Research Consortium (CDRC) to fund, oversee, and advise on four proposed research projects to further our understanding of best management practices for mitigating seed treatment exposure to honey bees during corn planting. The Pollinator Partnership has issued CDRC invitations to stakeholders from crop protection, seed production, farm equipment, corn growing, beekeeping, academic, governmental and conservation organizations.

The Corn Dust Research Consortium (CDRC) is seeking research proposals from North American researchers addressing two specific approaches to the issue.

The Consortium anticipates funding (from pooled resources of $300,000) proposals that address four questions:

  • Project 1 – Use by Honey Bees of flowering resources in and around cornfields during spring planting, and how this behavior can be effectively managed to reduce exposure to pesticide dust and residues;
  • Project 2 – The long-term health consequences of exposure of honey bee colonies to dust emitted during planting of neonicotinoid treated corn seeds;
  • Project 3 – The efficacy of CDRC recommendations in preventing honey bee exposure to corn dust; and Project 4 – Efficacy of seed lubricant products.

The Consortium will allocate the funding between the four project questions based on the proposals received. Proposals will be considered that address any or all questions. While this RFP lists four possible projects, there is no guarantee that projects in each category will be funded in 2015. Funds must be used within an eight-month period (March 2015 to November 2015) except for Project 2 which may extend to March of 2016 to assess overwintering health of colonies.

Focused, targeted projects with a high likelihood of providing tangible results that can be applied to best management practices for mitigating seed treatment exposure to honey bees are preferred. Proposals providing valuable extensions of previously funded projects will be considered. Proposals that involve coordinated applications between institutions, multiple geographic locations in North America, replication of or direct analysis of working field conditions and standard planting equipment are preferred. The projects will be funded for one year, with discussion of extensions to be considered at the end of the first year (fall of 2015). For more info, please refer to CDRC RFP 2015