Don’t Worry, Bee Happy: Florida’s Bee Colonies Increasing

Jun 01, 15 Don’t Worry, Bee Happy: Florida’s Bee Colonies Increasing

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Stinging a national trend, Florida’s managed bee colonies have increased by more than 145 percent in the last eight years and continue to play a critical role in helping pollinate Florida’s agricultural commodities and stabilizing our state and nation’s food supply. Florida is a model for other states learning how to garner cooperation between beekeepers and agricultural producers for the benefit of both groups.

Two years after Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and others brought Florida’s agriculture industry together in an innovative, voluntary partnership to help ensure the safety of bee hives near citrus groves, the program — and similar programs in other states — are now a part of the Honey Bee and Pollinator Strategy recently released by the White House. The National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bee and Other Pollinators seeks to improve the health of bee colonies across the country.

“Beekeeping and crop production are both important parts of agriculture, and one industry can’t survive without the other,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “It is exciting to see the growth of bee colonies in Florida, with beekeepers and growers working together in Florida to solve common problems. We are proud that our state-based efforts have contributed to the national model to improve the health of our nation’s bees.”

Citrus production, honey production and pollination services for many agricultural commodities are all important sectors of Florida’s $120 billion agriculture industry. In addition to surveying, monitoring and researching Florida’s managed bee colonies, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides Florida growers and beekeepers with information and best practices relating to agricultural pesticide usage that can help both industries to coexist and thrive.

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