WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Andy Harris, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin, David Trone and Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) today announced an award of $299,159 for the University of Maryland College Park through the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for a research project focused on predicting and mitigating honey bee colony losses.
“Agriculture – a leading economic driver in Maryland – depends on healthy pollinators,” the lawmakers said. “This important investment in bee colony research will help deliver new and innovative solutions to protect populations across the state and help Maryland’s farmers.”
Pollinators are paramount to the agriculture industry in Maryland. According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, “every third bite of food we eat can be attributed to these beneficial organisms.” This project will provide tools and methods for beekeepers to forecast and guard against colony losses, which can have a deleterious effect on nut, seed, fruit and vegetable production in Maryland.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced more than $4.7 million in research and extension grants as a part of the NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, designed to find solutions to farmers’ current problems and needs. These projects will allow researchers to collaborate at a national, regional and local scale on solutions for the agricultural community.