Marcy Kaptur

From the office of:

Marcy Kaptur


From: The Honorable Marcy Kaptur
Sent By:

Date: 2/26/2014

Current Cosigners:  Reps. Blumenauer, Brown, Conyers, Costa, DeFazio, Ellison, Garcia, Grijalva, Hastings, Holt, Huffman, Levin, Moran, Pingree, Pocan, Polis, Ryan (Tim), Schakowsky, Shea-Porter, Slaughter and Senator Tim Johnson
Dear Colleague:
As was recently highlighted by an article in Time Magazine, our nation’s honeybee population is dramatically declining. 
Honeybee pollination is responsible for one-third of the human diet and adds over $20 billion to our nation’s crop value.
Please join me in sending President Obama a letter requesting that the Administration’s FY 2015 budget request include significant additional resources to address the disappearance of one of our nation’s most important pollinators.  There has been only a
minor increase in funding over the past few years to address this serious issue.
Normal honeybee population decline has been occurring at about 15 percent.  Recent data shows a disturbing acceleration of 31.1 percent of colonies lost during the 2012/2013 winter, which is an increase of over 42 percent from the previous winter.  On average,
beekeepers lost 45.1 percent of their colonies during the winter.
Below please find the letter to the President.  If you have any questions or would like to sign onto the letter, please contact John Latini ( on my staff.
Member of Congress
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to request your immediate assistance in ensuring a healthy and plentiful food supply in the United States.
As has been reported in Time Magazine, our nation’s honeybee population is dramatically declining.  Since 1947, we have lost about 3.5 million honeybee colonies and roughly 10 million beehives with an estimated value of $2 billion.  A recent national survey
shows the decline continuing with over 30 percent of colonies lost annually.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), honeybee pollination is responsible for about
one-third of the human diet.  In addition, pollination adds more than $20 billion in economic value to our nation’s crops.
While we appreciate the work of the USDA-led Bee Health Committee and the various federal agencies responsible for bee health research, we believe more needs to be done before it is too late.  We respectfully request that your fiscal year 2015 budget request
include significant additional resources for research activities in the laboratory and in the field to address the decline in honeybee populations.
Specifically, we hope that the budget includes increased honeybee research funding at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), including for cooperator arrangements with universities, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  In addition, we believe
it is important that the Economic Research Service have the needed resources to undertake an official study to establish the economic value of honeybees.  An economic analysis of this type will help policymakers better understand the value of honeybees and
prioritize federal resources accordingly.
It is our understanding that despite often-dire circumstances facing our nation’s beekeepers, the federal investment in research and development to combat the decline in bee health has increased less than $2.5 million from fiscal year 2007 to fiscal year
2013 at ARS.  From our perspective, this is woefully inadequate to address the current situation, particularly since the 2008 and 2014 farm bills have placed heightened emphasis on this issue.  We hope that your fiscal year 2015 budget reflects the seriousness
of the problem by dedicating resources more in line with what should be expected of a research agenda seeking to protect one-third of the nation’s food supply.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter.  We look forward to working with you to address to decline in our nation’s bee population.