Rising beekeeping interest benefits agriculture

“There seems to be a lot of interest in beekeeping right now. Maybe it’s because of an interest in the fate of bees — the threat to pollination, or colony collapse disorder has gotten people concerned and maybe interested."

From the Daily Sentinel:

A four-year Cornell University study found that bee pollination enhances U.S. crop value by almost $15 billion per year through increased plant yield and higher quality fruits and vegetables. And the list of plants at least partially dependent on bee pollination is staggering: strawberries and cucumbers, figs and soybeans, peanuts, celery, broccoli, onions, asparagus, peaches and dozens more.

Almonds are 100 percent dependent on bee pollination, and last year almond production was a $1.1 billion industry in the United States. Almonds are grown in California, which has about 400,000 beehives but needs 1.5 million to pollinate all the almonds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To make up the difference, California growers hire beekeepers from around the country — including several from western Colorado — to bring their bees to California in February and pollinate the almonds.

For more, see: Beekeeper numbers buzzing as hobby, benefit to community

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