Dying Honeybees

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

Swarms of stingers and a humming buzz can be scary. But beekeeper Dennis Stien says the only thing to be afraid of, is a dying breed.

Just one of his original 25 hives remain. The others had to be destroyed after becoming infected with American Foul Brood, a highly contagious disease.

"As you become acquainted with what the process is and what has to be done it's very devastating," he says.

Honeybees are dropping like flies throughout the nation. In fact, a quarter of them no longer exist. Bee researchers say diseases like Colony Collapse Disorder, pesticides and parasites are killing them off. Which can trickle-down to our dinner plates.

"Honeybees pollinate fruit vegetables, nuts seeds crops that are really important to us from a diverse point of view," says Gene Robinson, the Director of Bee Research at the University of Illinois.

Which of course would make grocery shopping more expensive. But before we get to that, researchers are doing genetic testing on the bees, to find out why they're buzzing off.

Bee experts say bee pollination contributes 15-million dollars a year to our economy. And if they're all killed off, we may have to turn to wind turbines to help spread the pollination.


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