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New Survey: Spike in Bee Deaths Could Impact Economy

AAEA Member Examines Link; Available For Interviews

A survey released this week shows a sharp increase in the death of American honey bees.

According to numbers released by the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA), 28 percent of bees died this past winter, up six percent from a year ago.

Some economists worry not only about the health of bees, but the impact the increase in deaths could have on food prices. The USDA estimates about 25 percent of the food we eat comes from plants pollinated by honey bees.

However, the USDA also reports there are more honey bees today in the U.S. then there were 10 years ago when concerns over “Colony Collapse Disorder” began. So is this recent increase in bee deaths an anomaly or part of a more-troubling long-term trend?

Walter Thurman of North Carolina State University has been studying patterns in bees and pollination for more than a decade. A paper he co-authored on the topic was named “Outstanding Article of 2013” in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Dr. Thurman is available for interviews on this new survey, and has experience working with both print and electronic media. To schedule an interview please contact Jay Saunders in the AAEA Business Office.

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190