By Frank Giles
This week is National Pollinator Week. Pollinator species, such as bees, other insects, birds, and bats play a critical role in producing more than 100 crops grown in the United States. Honeybee pollination alone adds more than $18 billion in value to agricultural crops annually.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) used the week as an occasion to release its 2022 Annual Strategic Pollinator Priorities Report. The document updates the agency’s work to understand pollinator health and actions to protect them. The 2018 Farm Bill instructed USDA to coordinate research priorities with pollinator stakeholders. The report is one of the priorities outlined by the farm bill.
Honeybees are a big deal in Florida. The state rates second in the United States with 241,176 commercial colonies. California is first in the nation with 1,143,254 colonies. In addition to pollinating crops, bees make a lot of honey. In 2019, U.S. honey bee colonies produced 157 million pounds honey valued at $309 million.
The University of Florida has active honeybee research program. The program conducts research on honeybee health and colony decline. It also provides Extension resources for Florida beekeepers.
About the Author
Editor-in-Chief AgNet Media Publications