Bees Beneficial For Virginia Farmers

Farmers, many of whom invest in Virginia farm insurance, usually see larger yields and healthier fruit crops when bees frequent their fields. Though the pests can wreak havoc on human hosts, if the bee population continues to decline, they will be missed.


Staunton's News Leader reported that the bee population is on the decline, noting that in the 1970s there were around 90,000 honey bee hives in the state, but now there are somewhere between 30,000 and 35,000. Not only do the declining numbers affect the price of honey in Virginia, but it could result in large problems for local farmers.


The National Information system of the Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers published a profile on honey bee habits, and explained that the insect pollinates the budding flowers of many crops. The pollination effort is equivalent to an $8 billion to $10 billion industry, the source said.


According to the Suffolk News-Herald, two Congressional bills were recently signed that will award money to beekeepers creating new hives, in an effort to hold a preemptive strike against crop failure.


"When bees pollinate other crops, they are stimulating agricultural production in a wide range of areas, anywhere from apple and peach orchards, to grapes and alfalfa hay crops," Representative Ed Scott told the source, attributing much of the crops' success to bee pollination. 

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