Economy of bees

Last updated 08:47 29/01/2013

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Central Canterbury News

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A University of Canterbury scientist is concerned declining bee populations could impact our economy.

New Zealand's export crop economy relies heavily on pollination. About 70 per cent of all food crops require pollination from bees and other animals.

Because New Zealand exports 80 per cent of its crops, kiwifruit, apples, and honey (to name a few) could suffer.

Wild bees have all but been wiped by the varroa mite and while domestic bee hives are being maintained nationwide, the smaller numbers may not be sustainable.

Professor Jason Tylianakis said he understood the real value of honey bees working about 430,000 hives was worth $5 billion a year to the New Zealand economy.

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