Gillibrand urges USDA to expand bee aid

NORWICH – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in late February to bolster its efforts to revive New York’s bee population after a year when beekeepers lost on average 30 percent of their hives to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) – hurting New York farms' ability to pollinate crops.

Earlier this month, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack directed $3 million to study bee losses in the Midwest. Senator Gillibrand is urging the USDA to expand their investigation to New York and the Northeast.

According to a release for Senator Gilibrand's office, “New York’s farms rely on a strong and healthy bee population to pollinate our fruit and vegetable crops.” It continued that “The alarming decline of the bee population comes at a steep price for our environment, our farms, and our economy. It is critical for the USDA make this investment here in New York to respond to Colony Collapse Disorder, and help revive New York’s farms.”

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