The Buzz About Bees: Population on the Decline

By KBJR News 1

April 10, 2013 Updated Apr 10, 2013 at 9:30 PM CDT

April showers bring May flowers and without bees, those flowers nor the ecosystem would survive.

The latest buzz is the vital insect is on the decline and are crucial to our survival and the economy.

"It's not really the honey, it's about the pollination services, so if you think about the almond crop out in California it's entirely dependent on the honey bee for pollination," said Rachel MaKarrall, entomology instructor at UMD.

The three main phenomena's that affect bee's populations are disease, habitat loss, and the use of pesticides

Honey bees contribute upwards of 20 billion dollars in pollination services to the economy, but the bee population is in decline, which could have some detrimental effects.

"Bees ensure that plants can reproduce from year to year, but if you think about all the plants that surround us, not only the ones we grow for food but also the ones out in nature, if we can't reproduce from year to year, there's some pretty serious effects there," said MaKarrall.

A Beekeeper's main goal is to extract honey and wax for commercial use leaving a lasting impression on the surrounding environment.

"I'm convinced that it matters, not only do we have honey bees but I converted our yard which was nearly an acre of yard that I was mowing, I'm in the process of converting almost all of it to natural flowering plans," said Brian Roth, who has been raising bees as a hobby for the past four years.

"Also they need nesting sites, so if you can leave some dead standing trees, some brush piles some leaves and some stumps, that gives them some places to nest over winter," said McKarrall.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com