Bee Population decreases across the U.S.

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Let’s face it honey bee’s are not much fun to bee around, and while the decline of honey bees across the U.S. may sound like good news, local bee keepers say it’s actually a cause for concern.

“I’ve taken them out of houses and trees and caught swarms up in top of trees,” Ken Cole said. Cole lives in Mercer County and has been in the bee business for more than 20 years. He said bees have an effect on everyone because they play an important role in food production. “Bees pollinate 70% of the grains we eat. The flavor of eggs is changed by protein that’s fed to them protein that supplements by soy bean meal which is pollinated by honey bees.”

According to the Department of Agriculture bee colonies disappeared by 44% last year. Officials attribute the decline  several factors including  pesticides, parasites and weather conditions. Here in the mountain state beekeepers are especially seeing a significant decline. Cole said the main reason is because of varroa mites. Which are small parasites that carry virus and kill beehives. 

“They do the most damage when the eggs of the varroa mite is laid inside of the brood cells of the beehive,” he said.  

Despite the decline there are solutions to the problem. Cole advises planting flowers that produce nectar and also reduce the use of pesticides. Bee keepers should also take good care of their bees.

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