Without honey bees food supply & economy would take big hit - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Without honey bees food supply & economy would take big hit

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Honey bees tend to be non-aggressive but can sting. It's important not to encourage children to hold honey bees unless you know they are not allergic & you are confident they can handle a bee calmly & gently. The bee in this photo had an injured wing. Honey bees tend to be non-aggressive but can sting. It's important not to encourage children to hold honey bees unless you know they are not allergic & you are confident they can handle a bee calmly & gently. The bee in this photo had an injured wing.

NOTE: While honey bees tend to be non-aggressive, they can still sting. It is important not to encourage children to hold honey bees unless you know they are not allergic and you are confident they can handle a bee calmly and gently. It is however, a good idea to teach your children about the importance of honey bees and show them how to distinguish honey bees from other types of bees. This particular honey bee in the photos above had an injured wing.

KHQ.COM - Honey bees are some of the world's busiest workers. Honey bees pollinate fruit, nuts and vegetables making them responsible for pollinating 33% of the world's food according to honeybeehaven.com. What's scary, is that they are in trouble. They have been dying off since the mid-1990's all around the world. If something isn't done to save and sustain their population, the world's food industry will fall apart.

In June of 2014, President Obama created a task force comprised of various agencies to address the issue of rapidly declining honey bees. Risk factors that have contributed to their diminishing populations include pesticides, mite infestations and loss of genetic diversity.

According to CNN, a White House spokesperson said, "Honey bees enable the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops in North America. Globally, 87 of the leading 115 food crops evaluated are dependent on animal pollinators."

Honey bees aren't the only pollinators, but they are the largest group of pollinators. Other insects, birds and bats also help in the pollination process where pollen is transferred between plants, allowing them to make seeds and reproduce.

Pollinators don't only help with the global food source, they also directly impact the economy.

A White House spokesperson said, "Pollinators contribute more than $24 billion to the United States economy, of which honey bees account for more than $15 billion through their vital role in keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets."

Almonds are just one example of a food industry that is in trouble. Almonds rely solely on honey bees for pollination. The California almond industry requires 1.4 million beehives every year according to CNN.

The Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Agriculture are launching effort to determine why honey bees, monarch butterflies and other pollinators have declining populations. Obama has budgeted $50 million dollars for multiple agencies to help boost research, increase the number of acres dedicated to pollinators' conservation programs and boost fundraising for research on pollinator losses in 2015.

Here is what you can do to help the honeybees in your backyard and community according to www.honeybeehaven.org:


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