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Wild bee decline threatens US crop production

A new study of wild bees identifies 139 counties in key agricultural regions of California, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great Plains, west Texas, and the southern Mississippi River valley that have the most worrisome mismatch between falling wild bee supply and rising crop pollination demand. The study and map were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and led by scientists at the University of Vermont.

The first national study to map U.S. wild bees suggests they’re disappearing in many of the country’s most important farmlands–including California’s Central Valley, the Midwest’s corn belt, and the Mississippi River valley.

If losses of these crucial pollinators continue, the new nationwide assessment indicates that farmers will face increasing costs–and that the problem may even destabilize the nation’s crop production.

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