Honey bee pollination alone adds USD 15 billion in value to US crops each year, wrote John Holdren, one of President Barack Obama's main science advisors.

But pollinators are struggling, for a variety of reasons, and beekeepers last year reported losing 40 percent of their honey bee colonies, mostly in winter, Holdren wrote in a blog on the White House website.
    
To address the problem the White House aims to limit the mortality of bee colonies in winter to a maximum of 15 percent over 10 years. It also aims to restore 2.8 million hectares of habitat for these insects over the next five years through federal intervention and partnerships between the public and private sectors.
    
Many US government agencies will be called on to find ways to grow, on federal land, plants that are more varied and better suited to bees and other pollinators. Scientists say growing just one crop on a large stretch of land denies bees a source of food.
    
The plan is based on an "all hands on deck" approach including engagement of citizens and communities and the forging of public-private partnerships.

 

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