USDA Launches $3 Million Bee-Friendly Initiative
By: Gwen McIntyre
Honeybees are important little insects when it comes to making our food. So why do we pay little attention when it comes to their food supply?
For a decade, habitat loss, pesticide use, and a mysterious phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder have all contributed to a staggering decline in bee populations. In its continued effort to reverse this trend, The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend $3 million to provide new food sources to sustain the nation’s remaining honeybees.
The USDA’s latest approach to solving the honeybee crisis is unique because it focuses on the quality of bees’ food, not just the quantity. According to The Associated Press, the money will be used by farmers in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas to plant crops that will healthily sustain bee populations, like alfalfa and clover. As opposed to diet supplements like high-fructose corn syrup, these crops will provide nutritious nectar and create healthier habitats for bees.
Although the funding for this program is limited, the USDA hopes to see a big return on its investment--these five states alone host 65 percent of the nation’s commercial hives over the course of a year.
Do you think that this $3 million initiative will pay off for the bees? Let us know in the comments below!
Take The Ultimate Bee Colony Collapse Disorder Quiz to find out more about the honeybee crisis!