USDA to help Michigan farmers improve honeybee populations

Cropped Photo: Stephen Buchmann / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture will help farmers in six states, including Michigan, improve food sources for honeybees on private lands as populations continue to fall.

The Missoulian reports that the USDA announced last week that it has made $4 million in financial assistance available for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Between June and September, those states provide a home to more than 70 percent of the commercially managed honeybees in the country.

Researchers with the Center for Research on Globalization estimate that about 30 percent of all honeybee colonies in the last 10 years have disappeared. They attribute the decline to pesticide use, habitat destruction, climate change and parasites.

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