Intensified efforts, MSU research project to save bees underway
By RUTH KRUG
Capital News Service
LANSING – Bees are declining in the northeastern United States and southern Canada, according to a recent study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded Michigan State University a $6.9 million grant to develop sustainable pollination strategies for specialty crops. Bee pollination is necessary for the production of many crops, including apples, blueberries, grapes and leafy greens. “Bees play a key role in the productivity of agriculture through the pollination of fruits and vegetables,” according to the Honey Bee Research Centre at the University of Guelph in Ontario. “Without effective pollination we would face higher food costs and potential shortages.”
National Geographic magazine recently reported that beekeepers in the U.S. lost about 25 percent of their hives in 2013.