June 19, 2013

Recently, Gov. Jay Nixon proclaimed June 17 – 23 Pollinator Week in Missouri. During the weeklong celebration the Missouri Department of Agriculture reminds all Missourians that bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles provide valuable ecosystem services. In Missouri, bees in particular are essential partners with our farmers and ranchers in producing much of our state’s food supply.

“More than 400 different species of bees call Missouri home and most are essential to the food and flowers we grow across our state,” said Director of Agriculture and beekeeper Dr. Jon Hagler. “That means whether you are growing fields of corn and soybeans, a garden filled with cucumbers and tomatoes, or just a few flowers around your front porch, bees and all pollinators, are helping ensure all our plants flourish.”

Many of the state’s agricultural crops wouldn’t exist without bees. Most fruit trees, like peach and apple trees, rely on bees for pollination. Three-quarters of all flowering plants rely on pollinators such as bees to reproduce. Nationwide, it is estimated that pollinators contribute almost $20 billion to the value of U.S. crop production. Some scientists estimate that one out of every three bites of food Missourians eat exists because of pollinators like bees.

For Missourians looking for more information on bees, the Missouri Department of Agriculture and AgriMissouri, in partnership with the Missouri State Beekeepers Association, Missouri Botanical Garden and the Saint Louis Zoo, offer The Great Missouri Buzz Off! The Buzz Off! is designed to provide Missourians with the tools and resources they need to add bees to their fruit, vegetable or flower gardens.

To help more Missourians get growing with bees, AgriMissouri features a section on the AgriMissouri.com website dedicated to The Great Missouri Buzz Off!, including resources for those interested in learning more about types of bees, beekeeping and connecting beginners with the information and guidance they need to have a successful beekeeping venture.

To learn more about bees or to find Missouri products locally grown and pollinated by bees, visit AgriMissouri.com.

Department of Agriculture News

At left are the latest news stories from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact Christine Tew, strategic communications manager, at (573) 522-3169 or Christine.Tew@mda.mo.gov.

State Fair News

For the latest news stories from the Missouri State Fair, please visit their Web site or contact Tammie Nichols, marketing director, at (660) 530-5611 or Tammie.Nichols@mda.mo.gov.

USDA News

For the latest national agriculture news from USDA, visit USDA.gov.

Read more http://mda.mo.gov/news/2013/Missouri_Department_of_Ag_Celebrates_Bees_during_National_Pollinator_Week

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