USDA Funding Declining Bee Populations in MN & ND - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

USDA Funding Declining Bee Populations in MN & ND

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Honey is a beekeeper's business but with numbers dropping, business is tough. The USDA is funding to protect the declining bee populations.

The Conservation Reserve Program incentives will be offered to Minnesota and North Dakota as well as Michigan, South Dakota, and Wisconsin farmers and ranchers who establish new habitats for honey bees.

"As the number one honey producing state, North Dakota producers know how important it is to have a healthy population of pollinators," said Congressman Kevin Cramer. "Because we are home to such a large percentage of honey bees in the country, these CRP funds are being directed towards our farmers and ranchers."

June 16 to 22, 2014 has been designated as National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Interior. The week is intended to spread awareness of the importance of honey bees in U.S. agriculture production and the overall ecosystem.

North Dakota remains as the number one honey producing state, producing 34 million pounds of honey valued at more than 64 million dollars.

The number of managed honey bee colonies has dropped from 6 million in 1947 to 2.5 million this year.

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