Beekeepers warn of decline in honey bee population

West Virginia

40 percent honey bee loss across the country

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WVa. (WDVM)– Beekeepers say there has been a 40% honey bee loss over the entire country this past winter, which poses a threat not just to the honey bees, but to us.

Brent Frain has picked up beekeeping as a hobby when he isn’t working with the local fire department as a firefighter. He has many locations that he keeps hives, one of which is in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

“Bees essentially take care of 80% of our food. Research shows if we lost the honey bee, that in four years we wouldn’t have any food on the shelves” said Frain.

This species of bees can fly 3 to 5 miles to pollinate plants and collect their nectar which helps agriculture in the area.

The biggest problem for honey bees is another introduced species called the Varroa Mite.

“My grandfather when he was beekeeping would just take care of the bees, pull the honey, it was easy, but now its all about trying to manage the mite population without killing the bees. How do you kill one thing without killing the other?” said Kerri Godfrey, a beekeeper in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Some tips you can do to help the honey bees are to plant a wide variety of flowering plants in your garden, not to cut your grass too low and avoid using pesticides.

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