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Hop plant product helping North Dakota beekeepers

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Beekeepers in the nation's top honey-producing state are getting help through a product tied to a plant typically associated with beer.

The federal government is allowing North Dakota beekeepers to use Hopguard pesticide to control a mite thought to be connected to colony collapse disorder. It's the fourth year for the exemption, which is necessary because Hopguard isn't yet registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.

North Dakota's top pesticide official says there's no concern about safety because Hopguard is made from a natural product-- an extract of the hop plant.

Minot beekeeper Will Nissen says Hopguard is important to the industry because it is the only pesticide that's legal to use during actual honey production.

Other honey states including South Dakota also have received EPA exemptions.

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