Colorado

Jul 22, 2014 11:32 PM by Kelsey Kennedy

Thousands of Bees Die Suddenly in Southern Colorado

Beekeepers in the region are seeing a dramatic drop-off in the number of bees in their hives, just in the past few days.

Kimberly Randall and Jonathan Geurin are beekeepers in Colorado Springs. They told News 5 this season started out well for them, but recently, they could tell something wasn't right. It turns out more than 60 percent of their hive died in just three days.

"By the time we got to the bottom of the hive, we found a pile of dead bees that was two to three inches thick," said Randall.

Geurin and Randall have raised a combined six hives of honeybees in both Colorado Springs and Canon City. With 50,000 to 70,000 bees per hive, and half of their hives affected, they estimate well over 100,000 bees have died.

"That hive is completely gone," Geurin said. "When I opened it up a few days ago, there was no queen in it. There was probably only a dozen bees."

But what could be killing hundreds of thousands of bees across Southern Colorado?

"There's a lot of theories," Randall said. "We're going to be sending our bees off to have testing done through the state, and notify them in case there's something going on."

Randall and Geurin think pesticides and other chemicals used to treat lawns and weeds could be making their way into the water table

"Read what you're putting into your yard," Randall said. "Read what you're putting into your garden, because it all circles back."

Fruits and vegetables thrive on pollination from honeybees, making them vital to sustain our food sources.

"One in three bites of food that you eat is directly related to a honeybee," Randall says.

Not to mention the sweet honey bees produce from collecting nectar. In it's lifetime, one bee only collects a fraction of a tablespoon of honey. Luckily, the hives are beginning to recover.

"We need to be careful so we have something to pass on to the generations after us," says Geurin.

 

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