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Effects of Pesticides on Honey Bees
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It's a pretty sweet deal. The rental of honey bee colonies for pollination is at a high demand. But many colonies are in danger.
But bee researchers at the University of Florida are hoping to protect honey bees from pesticides.
"I love bees," said beekeeper, Chappie McChesney.
McChesney has been a beekeeper most of his life. He says its his passion for the bees that make him love what he does.
"Just watching the bees work, how they work, such a harmonious family. It's a unit organism they're just working together for the good of the hive." said McChesney.
The honey bee is credited with approximately 85 percent of the pollinating activity necessary to supply up to one-third of the nations food supply, making them one of the most important pollinators.
"Honey bees are fantastic creatures and they're so fascinating," said Dr. Daniel Schmel, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Florida.
The University of Florida is currently studying the effects of pesticides on the honey bee.
"We're essentially just treating cages of bees, cages with 30 bees with pesticides and looking at doses that are actually encountered by the bees in the field and we're looking at how that effects longevity," said Schmel.
Researchers at the UF Bee Biology Unit study bees that are used in different research projects like looking at the effects of pesticides, parasites, and pathogens, among others.
"We're measuring a number of different aspects of how pesticides affect honey bees," said Schmel.
Researchers at UF are still unsure about the full effects. But Schmehl says they can be harmful.
There are more than 3,000 registered beekeepers in Florida… managing more than 400,000 honey bee colonies and producing between 10 to 20 million pounds of honey a year.
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