ND among five states to receive bee habitat funding
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp said there will be $8 million in incentive funding for farmers and ranchers in five Midwestern states, including North Dakota, who create new habitats for honey bee populations.
Heitkamp authored an amendment in the 2014 Farm Bill to direct programs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to support habitats for honey bees and other managed pollinators. North Dakota is the number one beekeeping state, and nearly 90 types of crops are pollinated by managed honey bees.
“Improving pollinator health is an important priority for our state because North Dakota leads the nation in honey production and provides critical pollination services to crop growers across the country. The comprehensive Farm Bill, that I fought to pass earlier this year, included support for programs to make sure our honey bee populations thrive,” said Heitkamp. “Colony Collapse Disorder has hit North Dakota beekeepers hard. Providing healthy, nutrition-rich habitats for honey bees is an important way to fight CCD and this new pollinator initiative will help build upon current efforts to improve coordination among beekeepers and farmers and address pollinator health in North Dakota.”
The funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
The honey bee population in the United States has been declining for decades. The number of managed U.S. honey bee colonies dropped from 6 million in 1947, to just 2.5 million today. But by assisting honey bees, the new CRP pollinator initiative helps USDA continue to secure the food supply. More than $15 billion worth of agricultural production, including over 130 fruits and vegetables, depend on the health and well-being of honey bees.
For more information, please visit the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) online at www.fsa.usda.gov.