Bee Populations Decline in the Valley and Nationwide

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FISHERSVILLE -- For the food we eat, we depend on something most of us don't usually think about – bees. With such a cold and prolonged winter, bee populations are down about 35 percent nationwide this year.

The owners of Valley Bee Supply sell everything that has to do with keeping bees. The population of bees isn't going up, but the interest is.

Shane Clatterbaugh owns the Valley Bee Supply Store. He started beekeeping as a hobby, but it's now turned into a business.

This winter he lost about half of his bees to the cold and long season. Clatterbaugh said with a smaller number of bees this spring, he has more control of the populations.

"I think the small beekeepers will help them come back. The more beekeepers we have, the better. I think it's becoming pretty popular. There's a pretty big demand for it. People want to be self sufficient," said Clatterbaugh.

He said the more rain the area gets this spring, the better. Flowers provide pollen for the bees to reproduce and make honey. He says the declining bee population is attributed to pesticides and a condition where the bees leave and don't return to the nest.

Clatterbaugh says that one in three bites of food that we take is all thanks to bees.

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