Neighborhood hopes to create better bee habitat

By KBJR News 1

March 31, 2014 Updated Mar 31, 2014 at 9:19 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The honey bee population is not doing too well these days, in fact, there is a shortage around the world, but one Northland neighborhood is looking to change that by providing a better bee habitat.

Winter snow continues to litter the ground, but it's just the right time to be preparing for it all to melt.

The Faridale Farms Project, named after local street names and led by the owners of Lake Superior Honey Company, hopes to receive a grant to enhance the bee habitat in their neighborhood.

"We have a goal of increasing awareness of pollinator health issues, specifically for us, honey bees, but all pollinators, butterflies and that sort of thing." said Lake Superior Honey Company Owner, Jon Otis.

Honey bees have been dying all of over the world. It's a problem for everyone because at least one third of all food that we eat needs bees for pollination.

Experts believe the cause is related to pesticide use in agriculture and the bees don't know where to turn for clean nectar to make honey.

"Every time a honey bee returns to her hive, she's bringing back with her at least six detectable pesticides that she's picked up in the field, and that's from one trip back. Some of these worker bees will make multiple, multiple trips in a day." said Otis.

The safe place for bees can be organic gardens, which is why the Faridale Farms Project is applying for grant money from Seeds of Change to turn parts of their neighborhood grass lawns into gardens filled with flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

"So if we can provide some of that turf with native flowers, native grasses, throw some food in there. It helps keep our bees healthy and it helps keep our communities healthy." said Otis.

"It seems like a great addition to the community, it kind of cleans it up and seeing new spring growth." said Lake Superior Honey Worker, Adam Fornear.

A pretty sweet situation for humans and bees alike.

In order to receive grant money, Seeds of Change has put grant applicants up for a vote. To vote for the Faridale Farms Project, visit plant4bees.com or click here .

Bryce Henry
bhenry@kbjr.com

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