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STUDY PUTS A PRICE TAG ON HONEY BEES

The value of America's honey bee population as pollinators is somewhere between $1.6 billion and $5.7 billion, according to researchers at the State University of New York.

The number is based on the economic loss to farmers in terms of diminished crop harvests should the nation's honey bee population be wiped out and the higher price consumers would pay for produce from plants traditionally pollinated by honey bees.

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Because of the high value of the honey bees, a greater effort must be made to reduce potential bee losses, says Lawrence Southwick Jr., one of the researchers who conducted the study.