In an effort to bolster declining honey bee populations nationwide, the USDA has set aside $4 million for a public-private conservation strategy. In the warm-weather months, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin welcome some 70 percent of the country’s commercially managed honey bees. But according to studies, pathogens, parasites, and pesticides were responsible for one-third of the bees perishing. To stem the crisis, the USDA began offering owners of farmland, ranches, and forests financial incentives to plant bee-friendly cover crops, wildflowers, and native grasses. Such flora helps supply the bees with enough food to boost their odds of surviving frigid temperatures.
Click here to read more.