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Abstract

An estimated 125-150,000 beekeepers in the United States operate between 3.2 and 3.4 million honeybee colonies. Less than 2 percent of beekeepers are full-time (commercial) operators (300 or more colonies), more than 90 percent are hobbyists (fewer than 25 colonies), and the remainder are part-time (25-299 colonies). Honeybee pollination is vital to U.S. agriculture. Most pollination is provided free as a byproduct of honey production. In 1988, beekeepers derived 53 percent of their income from honey program payments. Total honey program payments have declined from $100 million in 1988 to $16 million in 1992. This report updates information on the beekeeping industry and its relationship to agriculture and the environment

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