Honeybees are dying off rapidly due to the colony collapse order problem which began around 2005. The bees may get some much needed help courtesy of a North Dakota plan – the first such colony collapse disorder program in the nation. The western state has been among the leaders in honey production in the United States for decades. North Dakota is also credited with developing quality bee protection guidelines for keepers, ranchers, farmers, and average landowners.
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture called for the development of a formal honeybee protection plan, and North Dakota was the first to answer. If the state's program is a success, it would likely serve as a model for the rest of America to follow.
Colony collapse disorder plagued not only America, but the bulk of nations around the globe. The decline of the honeybee population has often been blamed on GMO crops and chemical pesticides manufactured by Monsanto and other biotech giants, by some scientists and food safety advocates, according to a report by Off The Grid News. Nearly 100 crops grown in the United States require assistance by wild pollinators in order to grow. Bee pollinated crops comprise about 30 percent of the food eaten in the United States, according to the USDA – but many agriculture experts put the figure at closer to 70 percent.
The goal of the voluntary North Dakota Pollinator Plan is to reduce risks faced by honeybees due to the usage of chemical pesticides and other agricultural production practices. North Dakota routinely boasts the production of approximately a half million hives per year – with the pollinators spending the winter in warmer climates.
Even though beekeepers around the world experienced significant bee colony losses last year, North Dakota still manager to produce more than 34 million pounds of honey – approximately 23 percent of the honey produced in the United States. The resting period in the Western state is reportedly integral to their winter survival.
North Dakota Agriculture Commission Doug Goehring had this to say about the Pollinator Plan:
"It is completely non-regulatory. It contains best-management practices and other proactive measures and ideas to help agricultural producers and beekeepers find common ground, all on a voluntary basis. The guidelines will be revisited and annually and updated as needed."