Honey bees need help, in danger to become extinct

Honey bees need help, in danger to become extinct

(KWES) - Honey bees are everywhere, and despite the negative stigma on bees, they're actually pretty important. That's why beekeepers and big companies are working to raise awareness on the possibility of honey bee extinction.

"Apples and peaches and pears and plums and cherries and strawberries and blueberries," said Sibley Nature Center Scientist, Michael Nickell. "The list is actually a very lengthy list."

Nickell said the honey bee population has been on a steady decline for years now.

However, he said this isn't just a local, statewide or even nationwide issue, and big companies who transport bees, don't help.

"Bees will be shipped across the country in mass to pollinate the almond crops where there will be acres and acres and acres of nothing but almond trees," said Nickell. "Well once the pollination is done, that particular geographical location, it basically becomes a food desert for all kinds of things. Bees included."

Ken LeBleu, local beekeeper and master gardener, has been keeping his honey bees for four summers now.

He said his population has not died down, but in order to stay that way, he's asking for your help.

"Don't run down to the store, don't care what store, and just buy insecticide and spray them," said LeBleu. "You can call the extension offices in both Midland and Ector Counties, they'll find somebody to come out and try to take care of your problem."

Nickell said though the problem has been relevant for a while, it's good that people are able to get all the information now.

"The information that is put out on the media is more instantaneous and people are more connected with the media right now," said Nickell. "So even though this has been going on for many years, the information is a 24-7 sort of cycle and immediate."

If you wish to host your own bee farm, LeBleu said you can call a local AgriLife extension office and they'll help get you set up.

Local beekeepers and entomologists aren't the only ones trying to save the bees, General Mills' Cereal Cheerios will send free wildflower seeds to anyone who signs up on their website.

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