Bees play a role in one out of three bites of food you take.  This includes nuts, berries, other fruits, and vegetables.  Unfortunately, these industrious and beneficial insects are being reduced in numbers and are being ravaged by pests and other problems.

According to a non-profit group, beekeepers lost more than 40 percent of their honeybees between April 2015 and April 2016.  It is a decline that has been happening since 2006.  Almond growers are the first to notice a decline in the number of bees.  According to the Almond Board of California, almond pollination requires two-thirds of the nation’s commercial honeybees.  In 2016 California had nearly 900,000 acres of almond trees, needing almost 2 million honeybee hives.

Honeybees pollinate flowers while they are out collecting nectar.  Pollen from the flower’s stamen sticks to the hairs on the bee’s body, and when she (all pollinating honeybees are female) visits the next flower, some of the pollen rubs off, allowing for fertilization of the plant.

The single most thing that has caused bee loss is the Varroa mite.  This mite arrived from Asia and they lay eggs that develop within the honeybee brood and grow up and pierce an adult bee exoskeleton and feed off its internal fluid and fat.  The tiny mite also can affect the bee’s with a deadly virus.  Besides the Varroa mite, there are the four perils honeybees face: pests, pathogens, pesticides and poor nutrition.

We humans can take a proactive approach to saving these valuable honeybees.  Let clover grow in your yard. People spray their yards to eliminate clover-clover is something that bees love. Plant lots of wildflowers on your property.  Buying and consuming honey is good for bees. When you buy honey, it allows beekeepers to fund research that helps keep bees healthy.  The beekeeping industry cannot survive on honey production alone. About 40% of a beekeepers income comes from pollination practices for food production.  De Hart Plumbing Heating and Cooling, serving Manhattan Kansas, Junction City Kansas, Topeka Kansas and some surrounding areas.Bees

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