The North American honeybee is as symbolic of spring and summer as rainstorms and heatwaves. These fuzzy fliers are one of our primary pollinators and likely contributed to the growth of your garden and flowerbeds this year. More importantly they help pollinate our farms and orchards which provide us with much of our life-sustaining crops. Despite these frankly generous contributions to our welfare honeybees are often unwelcome guests on private property. Some people can’t help but associate them with the pain of getting stung. Nevertheless they are a vital part of our economy and ecosystem. Unfortunately, they’re also dying out.
Pesticides are to blame for the massive decline of the honeybee population. Farmers use neonicotinoids on over 140 different crops. In case you’re wondering, neonicotinoids are pesticides that are chemically similar to nicotine but deadly in insect populations. Some research even indicates that this chemical is highly addictive for bees making them crave it until it kills them (you know, unlike normal nicotine products). Some studies have suggested this may be a prominent factor in colony collapse disorder. With 42% of honeybee colonies lost in 2014 their population is quickly becoming unsustainable.
Enter the American Honey Bee Protection Agency located in Texas. This nonprofit organization specializes in no-kill removal of hives from public and private property. They also strive to educate the public about honeybees and work with various affiliates to offer workshops and training for properly, and safely, handling honeybees.
Of course most of their work revolves around safely removing honeybees and relocating them to areas where they can thrive.
Despite their annoying buzzing and willingness to sting if threatened, honeybees really are necessary for our survival. Thankfully the Honey Bee Protection Agency is here to offer a helping hand.
To see them in action check out the video here.