Bee losses and the economy

http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2013/05/02/us-bee-population-drop-result-of-multiple-factors-government/article

I’ve linked a current article about the US bee population from a local paper and pasted it below. It has been a rough winter moving into 2013. The Ebert bees made it in decent shape but things don’t sound good overall. The California almond growers were beyond desperate this year. There is consequently another surge in bee-related press after many losses in the US and around the world. Click the link above to visit the Des Moines Register and the original article.

“Beekeeping continues to get more complex US bee population drop result of multiple factors: government”

11:21 AM, May 2, 2013 | by Christopher Doering | Comments Categories: Green Fields: Agriculture and Alternative Energy

The U.S. government said on Thursday there are multiple factors contributing to the decline in honey bee colonies across the United States.

The report, released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the honey bee decline is the result of parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure.

“The decline in honey bee health is a complex problem caused by a combination of stressors,” said Bob Perciasepe, EPA’s acting administrator. “As the report makes clear, we’ve made significant progress, but there is still much work to be done to protect the honey bee population.”

The government said an estimated one-third of all food and beverages are made possible by pollination, mainly by honey bees. In the United States, pollination contributes to crop production worth$20-30 billion in agricultural production annually.

“The Agriculture Department/Environmental Protection Agency report issued today concludes what farmers and scientists have known for some time—that there isn’t just one cause to the decline in honey bee numbers,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The good health of the honey bee is extremely
important to American agriculture. Many farmers and ranchers require honey bees
and other pollinators to produce a healthy, bountiful crop.”

Tags: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, usda

The more complete report from the USDA is found here: http://www.usda.gov/documents/ReportHoneyBeeHealth.pdf

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