Bees Return to North Dakota - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Bees Return to North Dakota

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What is the USDA buzzing about this year?

So far, they have appropriated close to $3 million to help with financial support of beekeepers.

Those caring for the hives can incur quite a cost during winter months as they must physically pick up their bees and travel to warmer climates.

Bonnie Campo takes us to Minot's Five Star Honey to get a better idea of the journey these beekeepers make each year.

Peggie and Will Nissen have dedicated their lives to honey bees. Each year they go to California to pollinate almond fields, pomegranate fields, you name it, their pollinating it in the town of Bakersfield. It's what they love to do, and it's a way of living.

(Will Nissen, North Dakota Beekeepers Association) "I always say it's good for us ADHD guys. We are doing something every two or three months now every time. Right now we have the bees shipped home, we have switched from shipping bees to moving all the bees on location. We cover about a 100 mile area in about 9 counties, and then now we are putting these boxes on, feeding them, getting ready for the honey crop which usually the 4th of July to middle of July, that's out big honey punch, so we wanna be ready for that."

With a little more than a week left they think their bees are humming right along, and the weather is helping.

(Will Nissen, North Dakota Beekeepers Association) "Nice to see it nice and green up here, that will really help. Excellent dandelion year this year. We love dandelions, us beekeepers."

Our world would be changed forever if these little workers did not exist. The Natural Resources Defense Council says since 1990 25 percent of managed honey bees have disappeared, and that means close to 30 percent of the worlds crops could potentially die off

(Will Nissen, North Dakota Beekeepers Association) "Lot of our problems are just bee health. The bees need pollen, that's the protein, and the mix it with the honey. The last few years, with all the moisture all the honey crops have been off, but we are hoping we get a good crop this year.

The NRDC says U.S. honey bees produce about $150 million a year in raw honey, and more than $15 billion of crops are pollinated by those same bees, making the work beekeepers perform vital and very busy.

(Will Nissen, North Dakota Beekeepers Association) "The beekeeping world is quite a tight network of beekeepers. I can call people in Oklahoma, Texas see what's going on. I've got a friend that's coming up from Livingston, Texas. He's bringing bees up, next month to the center of North Dakota."

Research is being conducted to try and rehabilitate the bee, but there are not any answers yet. In Minot, Bonnie Campo KX News.

 

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