BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The nation’s top state agriculture officials are urging the federal government to work with them in developing strategies for protecting the health of honeybees.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture recently adopted a policy amendment recommending that the federal Agricultural Research Service work with state agriculture departments to implement “pollinator plans.”

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring introduced the amendment. He says the plans should emphasize enhanced communication between beekeepers and farmers, to ensure beekeepers continue to have access to areas that will support bee health.

Goehring says the amendment is in response to increasing losses of honeybees to colony collapse disorder.

North Dakota leads the nation in the production of honey. South Dakota is second.

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