Beekeepers Getting Stung by Increasing Bee Deaths - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Beekeepers Getting Stung by Increasing Bee Deaths

Posted: Updated:

Fruits and vegetables are always there when you go to grocery store, but in coming years their availability could get stung.

The bees that pollinate your food are dying at an increasing rate causing a nationwide bee shortage. Without those bees prices will rise.

A National Agriculture Statistics Service report says honey producing hives in the United States shrunk from 4.5 million in 1980 to 2.4 million in 2008. That number is even lower four years later.

So one local beekeeper is trying a newer method, hoping he can stay in the business.

Dan Bauer's bees are no longer sitting out in the cold. He says, "I don't know anybody else that does it in this area. A lot of it's being done in Idaho and Canada."

What Bauer is referring to is wintering his bees inside. Once the weather gets cold, they are put into storage where they can hibernate.

"I think this is gonna be the way that a lot of beekeepers might have to go," says Bauer adding, "We've already had people interested in what we are doing here."

This is all because Bauer, like other beekeepers nationwide, fears the bee death rate is only going to get worse.

Entomologists like Janet Knodel with the NDSU Extension Service are puzzled. Knodel says, "What they're seeing now is the bees are just disappearing, and the worker bees don't come back to the hive."

They have narrowed down some potential factors to the die out rate. They include parasites that attack the bees, increased stress from transporting them long distances and pesticide use.

Still, there is much research to be done.

"It's certainly a concern cause we're very dependent on our bees for pollination services," says Knodel.

The pollination services are valued at $15 billion dollars.

While the search continues for a solution to what could become a dire situation, Bauer sees his costs of doing business continue to rise.

He says those costs could be passed on to the consumer. "If they don't have that, it's, they won't get the crops, and the prices of the fruits and vegetables will probably double," says Bauer.

If you are wondering why we have bees up here, especially if we have cold temperatures in the winter, it is for the honey. There is a better honey quality up here, than down south where the bees are raised.

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNowAll content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Valley News Live. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.