A Gardener’s Best Friend Threatened
A lot of attention is being paid to honeybees right now as the population drops off. Honeybee Collapse Disorder is concerning growers who need the insect’s cross-pollination to maintain their crops.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Pest Management Specialist Professor Frank Drummond says several factors are contributing to the bee’s decline, including pesticides and a mite that spreads a virus to the insects.
The good news, he says, is that it doesn’t seem to be a major issue yet here in Maine.
“About 70 thousand colonies are brought in every year for instance just to pollinate one of our important crops, wild low-bush blueberry, and on a national perspective it’s been pointed out that honeybees are responsible really for the production of most of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we eat,” says Drummond.
There are things individuals can do to help keep the bees healthy, including choosing safe pesticides, and hiring a beekeeper to remove any hives you find on your property. For more information, contact the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension.