The honeybee population has been declining for years, but recently bees have been dying off in greater numbers all over the country.
Dr. Lawrence DuBose has been keeping bees for decades, but in recent years he has noticed his hives aren’t as full.
“30 to 40 percent of the bees died last winter,” said Dr. DuBose. “It has to be a real cause for concern.”
Scientists call this nationwide epidemic Colony Collapse Disorder. A recent report from the EPA and USDA says parasites, diseases, poor nutrition and chemicals are to blame.
“A lot of people have written papers that list a lot of causes for the honeybees dying, but always on their list of things are pesticides,” said Dr. DuBose. “And I have researched this for a good many years, and we will maybe convince people that we cannot keep using these pesticides.”
Odds are at some point you’ve been stung by a bee. So, you’re wondering why you should care if bees are dying?
Worker bees do more than just making honey. They’re helping everything on a farm from the animals all the way down to the crops.
“Bees pollinate at least 100 different fruit, nuts and vegetables,” says DuBose. Every year beekeepers from all over the United States truck their bees from California to pollinate just one crop, the almonds. Without honeybee pollination an acre of almond trees would produce about 200 pounds. With the help of honeybees it can yield about 2,000 pounds.”
One third of all food and drinks consumed in the U.S. are made possible by pollination. Without bees the crops we rely on could become scarce and end up costing more.
“What’s going to happen, and is really on the verge of being reality,” warns DuBose. “Is that there won’t be enough bees to pollinate other crops. Apples for example, blueberries, cranberries, cotton, alfalfa, hay that feeds the livestock where we get our meat from.”
Dr. Dubose gives talks at Kline Creek Farm where he educates people on the importance of honeybees. After all of the talks Dr. DuBose hands out seeds and urges people to plant the bee friendly plants without pesticides to help the bees pollinate.
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