What is in this article?:
- How vital are honeybees to U.S. agriculture? Every year, some $20 billion to $30 billion of U.S. production is dependent on pollination. Seventy percent of the crops Americans rely on for food are pollinated mainly by honeybees.
Agriculture groups react
Agriculture advocacy groups generally praised the report’s findings.
“This report offers additional confirmation that there are numerous factors influencing the health of honeybees,” said Ray McAllister, senior director of regulatory policy for CropLife America. “CLA supports the work of USDA, EPA and all involved stakeholders who are collaborating on developing solutions for honeybees and other pollinators, which are so vital to agricultural production in the U.S. and worldwide. The crop protection industry is dedicated to analyzing the impacts of pesticides on honeybee colonies through continued research into field-relevant pesticide exposures, improvement of pollinator habitats, supporting educational outreach programs and applying best management practices.”
The report “concludes what farmers and scientists have known for some time -- that there isn’t just one cause to the decline in honeybee numbers,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “It’s a multitude of factors, which makes it even more important that we continue work on a solution through collaborative efforts among farmers, beekeepers, researchers, the federal government and the public.
“The good health of the honeybee is extremely important to American agriculture. Many farmers and ranchers require honey bees and other pollinators to produce a healthy, bountiful crop. Farm Bureau supports funding for research to find real answers to the Colony Collapse Disorder, as well as practical, effective methods to remedy the situation.”
The National Cotton Council also weighed in. “Although cotton is a self-pollinating crop that does not require bees for pollination, some beekeepers do request permission to place their hives on cotton producer's property next to row crops, including cotton.
“The NCC has been and continues to be engaged in issues surrounding bee health, and it continues to seek improved crop production techniques that protect crop yield and enhance environmental outcome.”
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