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Alarm Over Missing Bees Prompts House Hearing

The disappearance of bee colonies across North America, which endangers the pollination of fruits and vegetables, prompts a hearing by the House agriculture panel. Alarmed beekeepers, farmers and scientists voiced their concerns at the hearing.

The scientists and farmers spoke of the magnitude of the problem, which, they stressed, went far beyond a few bees here and there.

It's not just the honey industry being talking about, they said — although it is getting hit hard, too.

At issue is practically the whole of American agriculture. Most orchards, fields of grain and vegetable crops are pollinated by honeybees. And both milk and meat come from cows that eat grain.

If honeybee populations continue to disappear in such huge numbers, the witnesses said, it could have a dramatic effect on crop yields — and ultimately the nation's food supply.

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