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The purpose of this Golden LEAF grant is to assist the NC Agricultural Foundation and NCSU in increasing agricultural productivity by identifying and introducing mite resistant bees into bee colonies across the state. This project will address problems that have resulted in a dramatic drop in the number of feral and commercial hives available for crop pollination. Reversing this trend is critical to producers of crops that are primarily dependent on bees for pollination (melons, cucumbers, apples, watermelons, squash, and blueberries). Objectives for the project include: (1) producing mite resistant bees and making them available to beekeepers; (2) promoting beekeeping as an alternative agricultural enterprise; and, (3) identifying market opportunities and promoting bee products for use in the pharmaceutical/health industry.