On Your Side: Disappearing Honeybees

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News 12 at 6, October 29, 2007

AUGUSTA -- Honeybees are disappearing across the country and experts worry this could have a devastating effect on our food supply.

That trend may be continuing right in your backyard.

Even with all the disappearances, there's still a good chance you could find them around your home. But because they are in danger, you want to have them removed, not killed.

If you don't, before long, a huge percentage of what you eat could be gone for good.

Big Bear Trapping Service Owner Jason Rehr removes all sorts of critters for people; bats, birds and even beavers.

Today, it's another b-word he's trying to remove: bees.

"Your average hive has anywhere from 40 to 60,000 bees in it," he said.

And they can be anywhere. If you've got a hole in your ceiling, maybe some cracks in your woodwork or even a gap, you could have bees and it's important to remember that you don't want to take them out yourself.

"The best thing to do is call a trained professional ‘cause they know what to look for," Jason said.

It'll keep you from getting stung, but it goes way beyond that.

Honeybee populations across the country are disappearing. Some beekeepers say they've lost 90 percent of their hives. No one knows exactly why, but we do know that killing more will only add to the problem.

That's a big reason Jason's hoping there's a huge hive just under the roof he's working on. "This whole thing from here to here," he said while pointing around a big column.

But about the only thing he finds is disappointment. "This bee colony is not gonna’ last, it's gonna’ die," he said.

Another insect called a wax moth has come in and kicked out the entire bee colony. "It literally destroys a bee colony."

The cause of this problem is easy for Jason to identify. In many other cases when the bees are gone, no one knows why. And if it continues, it could be devastating, not only for the bees but also for you.

"Honey bees are one of the few bees that help your vegetables and trees by cross-pollinating. Without honeybees our own lives are gonna’ become in danger," Jason concluded.

They're calling the reason behind the bees’ disappearance, colony collapse disorder. A lot of scientists are trying to figure out what it is and why it's happening.

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