Keepers needed to help stop bees from being endangered

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 9:30 PM EDT
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WOODSTOCK, Va. (WHSV) - Shenandoah Bee Supply says the insect has been an endangered species for years now.

Bill Gartner has been tending to bees for more than fifty years and knows the decline keeps happening because of people spraying man-made pesticides.

“They think it’s water or nectar, they suck it up. The insecticides kill bees,” Shenandoah Bee Supply Owner Bill Gartner said.

Farmers say they are losing around 40 percent of the bee population because of multiple factors.

“There’s nothing to pollinate our crops which means there’s nothing to feed the beef or the pork, or the chickens. They cease to exist,” Gartner said

Beekeepers are needed because their care helps revive the bee count, and professionals say it takes a year to learn half of what you need to know.

“I’m a father of six, we homeschool and we’d thought it’d be a fun project to get involved with the kids, maybe get some honey and wax,” New Beekeeper Philip Rice said.

Letting things grow is one way to help save the bees.

“Dandelions in your yard are not a bad thing. they are one of the first flowers out in the spring that produce nectar and pollen for the bees,” Gartner said.

Current beekeepers say the population has made a bit of a comeback but not much — it is an exponential growth if the decline goes from 40 percent to 20 percent.

Bee farmers want the public to understand that yellow jackets, wasp, and hornets are predators, but honeybees and bumblebees are considered a positive contributor to the world.

Gartner encourages people to not kill the bees if there is a swarm in their yard. Call Shenandoah Bee Supply at (540) 481-9555 and his crew will pick them up.