Honeybees Making a Comeback
Honeybees are making a comback in Virginia, but it was touch and go for a few years.
There was this honeybee crisis a few years back called 'colony collapse disorder.'
Fell: Basically, what we see with colony collapse is a sudden loss, or a very rapid loss, of adult bee population.
Richard Fell, Virginia Tech entomologist, says it was mites and fungus, pesticides and drought, that almost did them in.
Fell: By the mid-1990s, we had lost essentially three-quarters of the colonies in the state. That included almost all of the wild colonies, plus over half of the managed colonies. Numbers of beekeepers dropped by fifty percent.
He says they still don't have all the answers, but bees are slowly coming back, and that's a good thing.
Fell: Bees produce honey, they produce wax, they also provide pollination services.
There are now more than thirty local beekeeping associations in Virginia; many offer regular classes on how to keep bees and Fell estimated about 1000 people have learned how to keep bees in just the past year.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News