Bees Buzzing in North Central Florida for National Honeybee Day
Published August 17th, 2013
High Springs - August 17th is National Honeybee Day and bee supporters from all over the country gathered in North Central Florida to celebrate the importance of these pollinators. Bees are in charge of pollinating one-third of our food supply in 100 different food crops, making them incredibly important in our lives.
Without honey bees pollinating crops here in Florida, the state wouldn't be able to produce the amount of agricultural products it does today. These beekeepers are concerned with the declining honey bee rate. According to the USDA, beekeepers across the country reported losses of 40 to 90 percent of their bees last winter.
"If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live." Well that's according to Albert Einstein, but there are many others who agree with him, like the 2013 American Honey Princess who spent national honeybee day in North Central Florida.
Emily Campbell, American Honey Princess says, "Really my main goal when I am traveling is to educate people on how they can help the honeybees, as well as how beneficial they are to our everyday lives." She was part of the fifth annual event put together by Chappie McChesney with the North Central Florida Beekeepers Association.
This year, it was hosted at Dadant & Sons, Inc. in High Springs. With 10 locations throughout the U.S., the owner says it's a family business for everyone, from beginning beekeepers to the commercial beekeeper. Gabe Dadant says, "My dad was a commercial beekeeper he ran over a thousand colonies of bees. I guess you can say I was stung. I really enjoyed working with honeybees as I grew up and just grew up in the business and wanted to proceed with my future here at Dadant & Sons."
The beekeepers at the event are hoping people can take home an educational experience out of this event as far as preserving the bee species. Florida Department of Agriculture hall of famer, Laurence Cutts has been instrumental in advocating for research to reduce beehive losses in Florida. He adds that the industry has changed from bee-having to bee-keeping due to the many pests threatening bees.
This retired Florida Chief Apiary Inspector says "Nowadays, to have bees, you have to be a beekeeper and you have to work to keep them alive." This third generation beekeper developed the "better beetle blaster," a trap for beetles that enter your bee hives.
However, Mary Cahill-Roberts, master beekeeper from Georgia, says pests aren't the only harmful thing out there for bees. "Think about what you're putting in your yard and your ground and in your house and is there other solutions you can use that might be a little more friendly to you. Like instead of using a super charged cleaner on your counters maybe use a little lemon water."
I was told today more beekeepers are picking up the art of keeping bees bringing some hope to the situation. And if you're not a beekeeper, but would still like to help, beekeepers say by simply planting flowers you could do a great deed.
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