AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — The bee population is rapidly declining across America. According to a report from the Bee Informed Partnership, beekeepers in the U.S. lost almost 41 percent of their honey bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019.
A hive of bees, Photo Date: March 20, 2011 Photo: Thangaraj Kumarave / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 via MGN
Paris Carter, with the Valley Bee Supply, said this is mostly due to the varroa mite, a parasite that spreads diseases in hives making bees weaker and unable to survive the winter.
Carter said the bee population has been declining for a while, which can leave a negative impact on crops that rely on pollination to grow.
"Everyone likes to eat, and when a good portion of the food we take comes from pollination that's provided by the bees, it affects everyone," Carter said.
Carter said the Shenandoah Valley has been doing well with beekeeping, but more people can help save the bees by planting more pollinator friendly plants and being cautious of not spraying pesticides that are harmful to bees.
"Be care of spraying of pesticides, fungicides on crops during bloom time," Carter said.
To help save the bees, the Virginia General Assembly approved $125,000 for people in Virginia to get free bee-hive equipment starting July 1. They received so many applications, they had used up that money by that afternoon.