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FOR FARMERS, BEES ARE AS SWEET AS HONEY

What's the honeybee worth to agriculture? A new study by Cornell University for the National Honey Board values honeybee pollination of crops at $9.7 billion a year.

The study finds that in recent years farmers have considerably increased rentals of honeybee colonies to pollinate major fruits, berries, vegetables, tree nuts, oilseeds, and legumes. The trend is expected to continue.

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Farmers are renting honeybee colonies for crop pollination about 2 million times a year, double that in the early 1980s.