CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Farmers and businessmen have been telling
lawmakers on Capitol Hill that food prices could rise even more
unless the mysterious decline in honey bees is solved.
In the words of North Carolina grower Robert Edwards: "No bees,
no crops." He said he cut his cucumber acreage in half because of
the lack of bees available to rent.
About three-quarters of flowering plants rely on birds, bees and
other pollinators to help them reproduce. Experts say bee
pollination is essential and is responsible for 15 billion dollars
annually in crop value.
Scientists don't know how many bees have died -- or why.
Possible explanations include pesticides, a new parasite, poor
nutrition, contaminated water supplies and the need to move bees
long distances for pollination.
The House Appropriations Committee today approved $780,000 for
research on the disorder and 10 million dollars for bee research.