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Decline of Bees Will Affect Agriculture

LAWRENCE, KAN.- Spring has finally arrived but don’t expect to find an overabundance of bees in your local garden. According to the Center for Research on Globalization an alarming 30 percent of the national bee population has disappeared and nearly a third of all bee colonies in the U.S. have perished over the last five years.

This news comes as no shock to beekeeper, Tony Schwager. In recent years he says his beekeeping farm has transitioned to mostly selling bees, rather than honey due to the high demand for bees. Kathy Denning, a community ecologist who has been studying pollinators for the last four years says this problem, if not fixed, could effect more than just beekeepers.

“90 percent of our worlds flowering plants actually rely on animal pollination so if pollination services were to disappear that would be really devastating economically, agriculturally, and for our natural ecosystems as well,” said Denning.

The cause is due to a variety of factors but climate change, pesticides and parasites are among the top culprits. Experts say growing native plants and using ‘bee-friendly’ pesticides can help combat the problem.