Rising Rates for Rent-a-bees

Blueberries, Bee Health, Apples October 22, 2012|Print

Released October 21, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --  Pollination is basic science, but the cost of it is getting more complicated.

Rising honey prices, invasive mites and higher diesel fuel costs have increased the price of services performed by commercial beekeepers during the past 20 years, says a new study from N.C. State University.

The potential fallout? Higher prices at the market for foods that involve pollination, and that’s a lot of them: The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 75 percent of food crops grown worldwide depend on animal pollination, though it doesn’t say what percentage of that pollination is done by bees.

“The economics of the story has to do with the fact that the economic incentives (for beekeepers) come from the monetary payment from farmers for the pollination services, as well as the honey that they take away with them,” said N.C. State agricultural and resource economist Walter Thurman, the study’s lead researcher. He said it’s the first comprehensive study of North American pollination markets.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/10/21/3604406/rising-rates-for-ren...