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How the Bee Colony Collapse May Affect Your Business
Many people don’t realize that the honey bee population is a vital part of the farming industry in our nation. The business of raising bees is worth about $15 billion in the U.S. Worldwide, honey bees are also responsible for pollinating more than 90 types of fruits and vegetables, especially almonds, apples and blueberries.
But what has become known as the Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening to change the livelihood of some businesses. If colony losses are significant it won’t only effect the bee keepers income. Farmers who use bees to pollinate their crops will either face substantial costs to produce crops or a significant drop in production. Either way, consumers may see a raise in prices of crops in order for farmers to break even.
It doesn’t stop there. Many businesses use honey as an ingredient in the products they sell, such as bakery owners, candle manufacturers, etc. They will be forced to either remove that particular product from their shelves or pay the higher prices for honey. Most will resort to the latter, which again means an increase in price for the consumer.
Some say the media is blowing the situation out of proportion and things aren’t as bad as they seem, at least not yet. And business owners who would be directly effected vary in their opinions and levels of concern on the situation.
Bruce Boynton, CEO of the National Honey Board, doesn’t feel there is cause for concern on the part of the consumer just yet, emphasizing that more than half of the honey consumed in the U.S. is imported. However, if the colony collapse becomes an epidemic and expands globally, honey may become a precious commodity.
There’s speculation as to the cause of the disorder – everything from mite infestations to pesticide exposure to bad weather – but no one really knows. Efforts are being made, however, to discover the cause and prevent a larger scale problem. Until then, it’s simply, and unfortunately, a “wait and see” situation.
• Entrepreneur.com: Should You Care About the Bees?
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