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Published: Jun 22, 2009
U.S. Congress Eyeing Honeybee Support
by Staff

The U.S. Congress is considering appropriating millions of dollars for honeybee research that could reap benefits, experts say.

Beekeeper Barry Olmstead, co-founder of the Save the Bee Foundation, said the potential congressional funds would be welcome support to U.S. beekeepers as well as the country's produce industry, McClatchy Newspapers said Sunday.

"That's the biggest thing, because everybody's losing more than half their hives each year," Olmstead, 48, said.

"Here's the thing that people don't really understand: About one-third of the world's produce is pollinated by bees," he added.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has proposed Congress appropriate $20 million for research into colony collapse disorder, a move supported by American Beekeeping Federation Inc. official Troy Fore.

"Our main goal is for science," the federation's government relations director told McClatchy Newspapers. "We don't know what's causing CCD, and we don't know what to do about it. ... The truth is that beekeepers do need help. That's the truth of the story." (c) UPI

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