Honeybee Crisis

by Katie McGraw on May 8, 2013 at 6:31 am

Nearby buzzing, can irritate or scare you , knowing a bee is close by, but most people don’t even realize how critically important honeybees are to crops and by extension consumers.

Over the past few years, honeybees have been disappearing at a rapid rate. OSU Extension Educator, Mark Mechling, says this is a national problem and honeybee owners in Muskingum County have lost over half of their hives this winter. Now significant research is being done to figure out the cause of the losses.

"So it’s really not one item but a combination of things it seems to be impacting them but certainly insecticides are an issue, unfavorable weather conditions, lack of food, as well as some of these parasitic mites that are working on them," Mechling said.

What does this mean for you?

Honeybees can pollinate nearly 15 billion dollars in crops, that make up a third of the American diet. So with fewer bees, there are fewer crops, which results in higher store prices.

"In the long run it is a concern to agriculture and really to society in terms of having plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to consume."

Mechling asks if you are out and see a swarm of bees, leave them alone, and call the extension office at 740-454-0144 and they will make sure they get to a beekeeper.