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Local beekeeper asks you to think twice before killing bees

Posted at 9:02 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 05:12:54-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Josh Ray is a bit busy these days.

"We do everything from pollination to queens, to honey production...a little bit of beeswax," Ray, a Gadsden County beekeeper with Bear Creek Apiaries said.

He's saved countless swarms of bees. We're talking millions.

"You know you have to think 60,000 per hive, 30,000 to 60,000 per hive and I do eight or ten a week sometimes."

But honeybees are in a battle for their life.

"Multiple environmental pressures that all came in to create the perfect storm," said Anne Marie Fauvel, a Tech Transfer Team Coordinator for Bee Informed.

She said the honeybee population has been stable over the past decade. However, loss of habitats and pesticides and are leading to high mortality rates within bee colonies. Another threat, mites.

"The worst part is the [mites] transmit all of these viruses. And that's what the number one killer of bees right now."

These issues are keeping beekeepers hard at work.

"They're working really hard putting in a lot of time and energy to keep their colonies alive throughout the season."

A problem that could cost you more money buying fruit, vegetables, and even honey at the store.

"So what's unsustainable is the rate at which the bees are dying because it makes the commercial beekeepers so hard at recuperating all those losses."

If you see a swarm of bees in the area, consider calling a beekeeper.

"Bees are responsible for pollinating over 75 percent of our food. Tomatoes, oranges, any of your fruits and vegetables."

Giving these bees a good home and more importantly, a place, to help our own habitat keep buzzing along the way.