WASHINGTON (AP) — New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is telling federal officials that the Empire State needs its bees to pollinate crops.
Gillibrand wrote Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to ask him to expand the department’s efforts to revive bee populations in New York and the Northeast. Vilsack has already directed $3 million to study bee losses in the Midwest.
Gillibrand noted that beekeepers in New York last year lost an average of 30 percent of their hives to Colony Collapse Disorder, in which honeybees suddenly disappear or die. The losses could affect apple and other crops in New York.
The state has about 52,000 beehives.