Capitalism Saves the Bees! U.S. honey-producing bee colonies jump to 22-year high

No! Not the bees! No! Not the bees!

Just like how capitalism saved the whales, it turns out that capitalism has also saved the bees.

Despite the doom and gloom proclamations of the media over the past decade – beemageddon and beepocalypse – it turns out that free markets have saved the bees. It is true that the mortality rates of bees have been on the rise, but the number of bee colonies has actually reached a 22-year high.

Here is a chart from the American Enterprise Institute, using data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):

Reason also explained what’s going on:

But here’s what you might not have heard. Despite the increased mortality rates for bees, there has been no downard [sic] trend in the total number of honeybee colonies in the US over the past ten years. Indeed, there are more honeybee colonies in the country today than when the collapse disorder began.

Beekeepers have proven incredibly adept at responding to this challenge. Thanks to a robust market for pollination services, they have addressed the increasing mortality rates by rapidly rebuilding their hives, with virtually no economic effects passed on to consumers. It’s a remarkable story of adaptation and resilience, and the media has almost entirely ignored it.

There you have it. Capitalism has solved yet another problem that was meant to be a crisis, fueled by the media. Akin to the demise of the whales, you just sometimes need to allow the market to do their thing.

Echoing the AEI’s Mark Perry, thanks capitalism!

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  1. Beekeepers, by taking advantage of the availability of pollination services, have rebuilt their hives “with virtually no economic effects passed on to consumers.”

    I would like to ask the writer from Reason magazine if he has purchased any honey at the market in the past two years.

    In March, 2015, the price for local (Oklahoma) honey was $12.49 for a 32-oz. container. Last week, the same item at the same store was selling for $19.99.

    I don’t begrudge my area beekeepers from making a profit, any profit, from their product. But I do despise the ignorance of the author of the embedded article who proffers such a statement that is totally incorrect.

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