Agricultural and Environmental groups are urging Farm Bill conferees to include a provision in the farm bill to protect pollinators. The pollinator provision creates a USDA task force on bee health and provides for reporting on the health and population status of native pollinators. South Dakota Honey producer Richard Adee of Bruce says the measure is needed because over the last five years, there have been around 1 million bees nationally lost due to diseases like colony collapse disorder.
Adee says bees and honey are critical for South Dakota’s economy which ranks in the top three in honey production. He says those pollinators also have a positive impact on soybeans.
He says pollinators are also important for the almond industry.
Adee says apple and blueberry growers also depend on pollinators.