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Senator Schumer Stands Up for the Honey Bees

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Senator Chuck Schumer standing up for the bees today, at Kutick's Honey Farm in Chenango County, after a federal decision to cut back research on declining bee populations. The end of this USDA study would be a sting to the industry in the Southern Tier. 

"Every third bite you take is related to a honey bee, even beef," said Chuck Kutik, owner of Kutik's Honey Farm.

Honey bees are essential to our ecosystem, and more than just farmers are taking notice.

"We need honeybees, because they do the pollinating. They are crucial. Our bees provide pollination for $1.2 billion of crops, so this is a big industry," said Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator for NY.

The future is in danger for our bees and crops. 

"Our honeybee population is declining; it's a serious, serious issue," said Schumer.

The USDA collected data about honey bee colonies, in hopes of saving the population.

"But now they plan to stop doing it and no one can figure out why," said Schumer.

If the research discontinues, it'll have long-term effects for bee keepers.

"We need to keep collecting statistics so that we can formulate the right research and direct that research, especially on things like fungicides," said Kutik.

The Senator said the study is likely stopping for three reasons:

1. To save budget money.

2. Because top USDA administrators don't believe in climate change, and the data was pointing to the environment as a cause for the bees decline.

3. The pesticide companies killing bees made a deal with the USDA.

"I am here to tell all the beekeepers, farmers, and all the related auxiliary industries that depend on our bees, that I'm going to do everything I can in the upcoming budget to restore this money," said Schumer.

The USDA is scheduled to stop the honey bee data collection in October, Senator Schumer hopes to change that.