Bees provide essential pollination for many of the nut, berry, fruit, vegetable, and seed crops grown in the U.S. To supplement wild bee pollination, farmers often rent managed honey bee colonies. Demand is skyrocketing, but catastrophic die-offs are threatening the supply of healthy honey bee colonies. Parasitic mites, pathogens, pesticide chemicals, nutritional deficits, and environmental conditions have contributed to the decline of honey bees. With NIFA's Multistate Research Fund, researchers at the University of Arkansas collaborate with twenty other institutions to seek solutions.
Extension specialists and educators are sharing information with beekeepers, farmers, home gardeners, regulatory agencies, and others. Beekeepers following research-based recommendations have saved an estimated 10,500 honey bee colonies, which provide a value of over $5,750,000 each year they are used to pollinate crops.
Read more about protecting pollinators.
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