Since dying and disappearing honeybees seriously threaten U.S. agricultural production, the USDA has announced a program to increase the bee population by improving their habitat and food supply.
About 30 percent of commercial and wild honeybees in the U.S. have been dying or disappearing each year for the last 10 years due to excessive pesticides and habitat loss. Since that seriously threatens the country’s agricultural production, which depends on bees to pollinate about 15 billion dollars worth of crops annually, the USDA has announced a program to increase the bee population by improving their habitat and food supply.
As it stands, 65 percent of 30,000 commercial beekeepers must keep their hives in five Midwestern states for the summer through winter so that bees can find food, and then transport the bees in the spring to other states so they can pollinate a wide variety of produce.
The USDA plans to give farmers and ranchers in those five states, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. about 3 million dollars to improve the farmlands and food quality for bees and livestock. Efforts will include reseeding pastures with plants like clover and alfalfa, constructing fences, and installing new water tanks, among others.
The USDA’s Jason Weller said the program is “a win for the livestock guys and it’s a win for the managed honeybee population.” He added, “And it’s a win then for orchardists and other specialty crop producers across the nation.”