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No Apples or Pumpkins in New Hampshire?

May 8, 2007

Spring is the time of the birds and the bees, but one of those two may be scarce this year. A mysterious honeybee blight is threatening food crops across the country, including New Hampshire's homegrown agriculture. Julia Bovey of the Natural Resources Defense Council says no one can predict when it will strike the Granite State, but when it does, it could affect many of our most popular local crops.

“Folks in New Hampshire sort of take for granted that you're going to be inundated with huge squash and pumpkins in the fall. Not without bees.”

Until researchers determine what's causing the condition they call Colony Collapse Disorder, Bovey notes that homeowners can help by limiting pesticides, using native plant species in their gardens, and not destroying hives on their land. In short, Bovey said, we need to "bee" kind to the bees.

And it's not just in New Hampshire. Bovey adds that bees play a vital role in many of the foods we eat.

“All in all we're talking about $15 billion annually in the United States, or about one-third of what Americans eat. That's the amount of food that is pollinated by bees.”

John Robinson/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NH