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Bees on the Brink
Honey bee pollination is estimated to be worth more than $20 billion in the United States. However, in the last 60 years, the number of US honey bee colonies has declined by over half, from nearly 5 million to 2.4 million. Further compounding these losses, US beekeepers have reported annual declines of about 30-35% over the last five years. These losses are unsustainable. At the same time, the demand for pollination of fiber, fruit, vegetable and nut crops has increased. Ramesh Sagili, assistant professor in the Oregon State University Extension Service and Department of Horticulture, will discuss the current status of honey bee health and numerous challenges facing honey bees and the beekeeping industry. He will describe current research efforts at OSU and at other bee research laboratories across the nation, and he will offer simple suggestions to home gardeners who want to foster honey bees.