The Missouri Department of Agriculture is launching a new statewide initiative Friday morning in St. Louis to talk about bees and to promote their importance to food production.
The Great Missouri Buzz Off encourages Missourians to learn more about bees and beekeeping. John Timmons, vice president of the Missouri State Beekeepers Association, is one of those speaking about the importance of maintaining a vibrant population of bees.
“If we continue to lose our honey bees, if the honey bee population goes down, we lose that pollination service. There are a lot of things that we enjoy eating that won’t be able to eat anymore – fruits, vegetables, nuts – things that honey bees pollinate,” Timmons told Brownfield Ag News.
An example, says Timmons, is the almond.
“There’s only one insect that pollinates the almond trees, and that’s the honey bee,” said Timmons, “and if we didn’t have a honey bee, there would be no almonds, period.”
In addition to pollinating many locally produced specialty crops, including apples, peaches, pumpkins and cucumbers, honey bees come up with roughly 2 million pounds of honey annually.
The Great Missouri Buzz Off is at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, at 11 a.m. Friday morning.
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