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Gillibrand calls on support for N.Y.'s declining bee population

Rochester Business Journal
February 27, 2014

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture to include New York in its pollination initiative to revive its bee population, which adds $300 million to the state’s $4.4 billion agriculture industry.

“New York’s farms rely on a strong and healthy bee population to pollinate our fruit and vegetable crops,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “The alarming decline of the bee population comes at a steep price for our environment, our farms and our economy.”

Gillibrand sent a letter Wednesday to USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack following his announcement that $3 million will be invested in five Midwestern states to implement a pollination program there.

New York beekeepers lost, on average, 30 percent of their hives to colony collapse disorder from 2011 to 2012, Gillibrand said. Some 45 percent of hives nationally were lost in 2013, she said.

New York has 52,000 beehives, each of which produces 51 pounds of honey, Gillibrand said. The state ranks 10th nationally in honey production.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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