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Feds unveil plan to save honey bees

Feds unveil plan to save honey bees thumbnail

Claiming that the future of American food production depends on a revived honey bee population, the Agriculture Department on Tuesday announced it will spend $3 million to help ranchers and farmers improve the health of the bugs, key to pollinating $15 billion worth of food.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement, “Expanded support for research, combined with USDA’s other efforts to improve honey bee health, should help America’s beekeepers combat the current, unprecedented loss of honey bee hives each year.”

The money will be in the form of financial assistance and technical help targeted to five Midwestern states: Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“Honey bee pollination supports an estimated $15 billion worth of agricultural production, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables that are the foundation of a nutritious diet. The future security of America’s food supply depends on healthy honey bees,” added Vilsack.

The bee industry has been under assault from pests and enemies for years, but the recent emergence of mysterious “Colony Collapse Disorder” has resulted in the deaths of 30 percent to 50 percent of honey bee colonies each year, double the normal rate.

Ag said the assistance “will provide guidance and support to farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that will provide safe and diverse food sources for honey bees. For example, appropriate cover crops or rangeland and pasture management may provide a benefit to producers by reducing erosion, increasing the health of their soil, inhibiting invasive species, providing quality forage and habitat for honey bees and other pollinators, as well as habitat for other wildlife.”

The area was chosen because over 65 percent of the commercially managed honey bees in the country are dropped in farms in the five states.

Bee managers would also like the administration to limit the use of exotic pesticides which them blame for some of the colony deaths.

Washington Examiner

10 Comments on "Feds unveil plan to save honey bees"

  1. GregT on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 12:20 am 

    “the Agriculture Department on Tuesday announced it will spend $3 million to help ranchers and farmers improve the health of the bugs”


  2. MSN on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 12:48 am 

    Funny, turns out by burning all these fossil fuels + chemical fertilisers and spraying crops with pest controls chemicals were killing nature. (Climate chaos more than others)
    Almost as if when the party is over, we will be left with no fossil fuel, thus no chemicals for crops, thus lower food production.
    However none of this matters without nature. (Bees)
    Or water for that matter….
    Lets hope NorthWest its around the corner (collapse) as the further we go on not collapsing, ironically the worse we are off.

  3. Davy, Hermann, MO on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 12:54 am 

    $3MIL will not cover the initial project write up cost for the government. Now if they said $3BIL then this article would be worth reading.

  4. Makati1 on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 2:10 am 

    When the Fed gets involved it’s game over for the honey bee. Intelligent people do not go into politics or work for the Government. But then, many of them ARE drones…

  5. FriedrichKling on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 4:38 am 

    And what of the millions of bats dying from White Nose Syndrome and amphibians dying from chytrid, etc?

    The natural world is on the verge of total destruction due to mankind.

  6. DC on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 9:11 am 

    I have no idea what the Us Gov’t ill-conceived plan to ‘save’ the bees will actually entail. But I can say with absolute certainty what they *wont* be doing. Namely, stop spraying Bayers and Monsanto’s toxic pesticides all over the continent. You see, that would get to the root of the problem, so that immediately removes that option from further thought. However, any ‘solutions’ which deal with symptoms in a half-hearted and totally ineffective(but expensive manner) will be given the utmost consideration….

  7. Feemer on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 1:28 pm 

    I wrote an essay about honey bees and what is causing colony collapse disorder. Cover crops do have potential in helping bees, but another main issue is pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides all hurt bees). At least they are doing something finally, but $3 million is not near enough money to tackle this extremely pressing and important issue

  8. Kenz300 on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 3:46 pm 

    Fertilizers and pesticides are slowly poisoning the environment……….

    The bees are the canary in the coal mine for the human race.

  9. foxv on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 4:07 pm 

    $3M won’t cover the cost of the flyers to say what the project is about. $15B worth of food production (which sounds understated IMHO)and they come up with a fraction of 1%

    And as you say DC at the end of the day, the real cause won’t be addressed. As a matter of fact, it’s not even part of the program
    “…to implement conservation practices”
    It’s all mitigation and nothing for prevention.

    Get ready for more expensive food and a much less healthy lifesyle.

  10. GregT on Fri, 28th Feb 2014 2:00 am 

    “I have no idea what the Us Gov’t ill-conceived plan to ‘save’ the bees will actually entail.”

    For 3 million maybe they could build a honey bee museum?

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