The shrinking bee population affects the agriculture industry, according to researchers Jeff Pettis, with the USDA, and Dennis vanEngelsdorp with the University of Maryland.
According to research by Pettis and vanEngelsdorp, survival of honey bees is necessary to meet the demands of agriculture pollination and food security. The annual 30 percent decline has left “virtually no cushion of bees for pollination,” the report said.
Sonny Ramaswamy, a USDA official, said about $30 billion a year in agriculture depends on the health of honey bees which pollinate more than 90 flowering crops including most fruits and vegetables. About one third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honey bee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination.
“We are one poor weather event or high winter bee loss away from a pollination disaster,” said Jeff Pettis, a USDA bee researcher, in the report.
Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/06/23/2832443/trouble-for-sc-honey-bees-hives.html#storylink=cpy