According to the VDACS website:
“The Indispensable Honey Bee
Since their introduction in the early 1600’s honey bees have been an essential part of agriculture in North America. Production of honey is the most widely viewed benefit of honey bees. However, their value as pollinators far exceeds honey production. In 2000 pollination by honey bees added over $14 billion to United States agriculture economic value through improved product quality and increase crop harvest. The 2002 added value to the Virginia apple industry resulting from honey bee pollination was estimated as $23 million. Besides apples there are numerous fruit, vegetable, and nut crops that depend on honey bees and other insect pollinators to insure proper pollination and abundant harvest.”
This little fella is assisting with Pickett’s Harbor Farms’ peach crop. Photo by Ginnie Parker of Pickett’s Harbor Farms.