Joining the White House, the vice president's wife, Karen Pence and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue installed a new beehive on the grounds of their Naval Observatory residence Tuesday.
.@SecondLady's new beehive at VP residence highlights need for increase in bee population. 20,000 bees in here, with queen dubbed Alexandra. pic.twitter.com/U755fjcrgK— Sec. Sonny Perdue (@SecretarySonny) June 6, 2017
"All types of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, birds and bats, are critical to providing our nation's food, fiber, fuel and medicine," Pence said.
"However, our beekeepers have been losing colonies for many years. This presents a serious challenge to our ability to produce many of the agricultural products that we enjoy today. The bees at the Vice President's Residence will provide an added bonus to the vegetable and flower gardens by making them well pollinated and taste even better at harvest."
What a bee-utiful day at the VP Residence!!! Thanks to @SecretarySonny for helping to unveil the beehive and explain why bees are important pic.twitter.com/arxqvcGAkl— Karen Pence (@SecondLady) June 6, 2017
The installation came as the nation prepares for National Pollinator Week, June 19-25. Perdue said the focus will be on helping bees and other pollinators.
"Most farmers and consumers have no better friends and few harder workers than the honeybee, as more than one-third of all U.S. crop production requires insect pollination," Perdue said. "But our honeybee population has been losing ground at an alarming rate. The problem represents a diverse mix of challenges requiring a wide range of solutions. And at USDA we are leading the way in research to help out our pollinator friends," he added in a White House statement.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org