AGRIBUSINESS: Bee Health Report Shows Major Threats

A new report released jointly from USDA and EPA recognizes the major factor contributing to bee colony loss in the U.S.

Parasitic varroa mites are now recognized as foremost among several factors contributing to colony loss, including a lack of genetic diversity and poor nutrition. According to the findings there is a widespread resistance to the chemicals beekeepers use to control the mites. The report also found that additional collaboration is needed between producers and beekeepers to implement Best Management Practices that protect bees from pesticides. However the report held back on condemning pesticide use, instead suggesting a need for more research into actual exposure to pesticides and how much of an effect those chemicals have on bees.

USDA claims a full third of all food and beverages are made possible by bee pollination, and that bees support 20 to 30 billion dollars of the agriculture industry each year.

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