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Environment

Dakota Midday: Bee Survey Shows Losses Continue

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Amanda Bachmann
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According to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, there are about 216 South Dakotans keeping bees. Around 93 of these producers maintain their bees on a commercial scale. The state usually ranks in the top five states for number of hives. South Dakota also ranks second in the nation for honey production.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about $15 billion worth of crops are pollinated by honey bees, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables. But managed honey bee numbers have been declining over the past 50 years. Since 2006, about 30 percent of honey bee hives in the United States have been lost each winter to diseases, parasites, poor nutrition, pesticide exposure and other issues.

According to preliminary results of the Bee Informed National Management Survey reported by the USDA, there was a 42 percent total honey bee hive loss from April 2014 to April 2015. In South Dakota the loss was 36 percent. Joining us now for more about honey bee loss and health in the state is Amanda Bachmann, SDSU Extension Pesticide Education and Urban Entomology Field Specialist.

To read the Bee Informed National Management Survey, click here.

To read Amanda Bachmann's iGrow articles on plants and flowers that attract bees, click here.

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