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Rick Worthington Honey Bees
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: March 21, 2018

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A major endeavor is under way to educate soybean farmers about helping to save honeybees. The Honey Bee Health Coalition this month unveiled a management plan for growers.

Adam Dolezal conducted the research for the report. He said several factors have led to massive bee die-offs, including pesticide use and loss of habitat.

"Surely there's no question that farming huge amounts of land with one or two crops throughout areas that used to not be cropland has an impact on pollinators,” Dolezal said. “But I think farmers are interested in seeing recommendations to reduce any impacts that they might have."

Recommendations for farmers include spraying fields at night when bees are least active, avoiding applying pesticides during bloom time, and determining where hives are located around the farm.

Meagan Kaiser grows soybeans and says farmers want to see pollinators thrive.

"Through the Honeybee Health Coalition, we are putting together a list of resources and best management practices so that we as farmers can be aware of how we can do something about the decline in bee health."

Soybeans are one of the top U.S. crops, second only to corn. The decline in honeybees has been linked to pests and disease, poor nutrition, hive management and exposure to pesticides.

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