Bee Health: Background and Issues for Congress

Bee Health: Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Renee Johnson and M. Lynne Corn. August 27, 2013.

Bees, both commercially managed honey bees and wild bees, play an important role in global food production. In the United States alone, the value of insect pollination to U.S. agricultural production is estimated at $16 billion annually, of which about three-fourths is attributable to honey bees. Worldwide, the contribution of bees and other insects to global crop production for human food is valued at about $190 billion. Given the importance of honey bees and other bee species to food production, many have expressed concern about whether a “pollinator crisis” has been occurring in recent decades. Over the past few decades there has been heightened concern about the plight of honey bees as well as other bee and pollinator species. Although honey bee colony losses due to bee pests, parasites, and disease are not uncommon, there is the perception that bee health has been declining at a faster rate both in the United States and globally in recent years.

[PDF format, 29 pages, 462.95 KB].

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