September 21, 2021

Florida TaxWatch Economic Commentary

Bees are crucial to Florida's environment, agriculture and economy

Bees, please don't buzz off!

| 11/1/2016

What is being done now?

The good news is that all hope is not lost for the bees, and Florida is one of the states leading the charge to help make a difference. Currently, the University of Florida is getting set to build a state of the art laboratory and research facility that will be dedicated to the study of bees. The facility, which has garnered funding through a partnership that includes the Florida Legislature, beekeeper groups, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is set to break ground in early 2017.15

The new facility will work with students and local beekeepers to test theories and educate individuals on the latest beekeeping methods. The overall goal of the new lab is to study and create new beekeeping techniques in an effort to help increase the bee population.16

The U.S. is also working curb the declining bee population on the federal level. In 2015, the President’s budget recommended appropriating $50 million across various agencies within the United States Department of Agriculture. The resources were dedicated to enhanced research on bee population decline, increasing the number of acres used for conservation efforts, increased funding for surveys to measure to true impacts of pollinators losses, and more.17 The federal government also established a new Pollinator Health Task Force that will work to coordinate a “research action plan” to help officials understand, prevent, and recover from the decline in pollinator populations.18

Conclusion

Understanding the importance of bees to Florida’s environment and our state and national economies is a crucial step in the effort to help slow their decline. While bees may seem like a nuisance when they create a hive in your backyard, they may actually be shaping the environment around you, helping flowers grow, and contributing to production of fruits and vegetables that you enjoy on a daily basis. Their pollination efforts are an instrumental part of the agriculture sector here in the U.S., contributing billions of dollars in product to our nation’s economy and supplying nearly one-third of our diets. So the next time you think about swatting a bee that’s flying around, think twice—they may be more important than you know.

15   Beekeeper group pushes for UF bee research facility. The Gainesville Sun. October 24, 2016.
16   Beekeeper group pushes for UF bee research facility. The Gainesville Sun. October 24, 2016.
17   Fact Sheet: The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator Populations. The White House. June 20, 2014.
18   Fact Sheet: The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator Populations. The White House. June 20, 2014.

 


FPL

Economic Commentary written by

Kyle Baltuch, MS, Economist

Robert Weissert, Executive VP & Counsel to the President & CEO
Robert D Cruz, Ph.D., Chief Economist
Chris Barry, Director of Publications

Michelle A. Robinson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Florida TaxWatch
Sen. George LeMieux, Advisory Board Chairman, TaxWatch Center for Competitive Florida

Dominic M. Calabro, President, CEO, Publisher & Editor

Florida TaxWatch Research Institute, Inc.
www.floridataxwatch.org

 

Copyright © Florida TaxWatch, October 2016

Florida Tax Watch

Tags: Agriculture, Environment, Florida TaxWatch

 

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