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Local Bee Industry Adapts To Shortage

Updated: Saturday, April 27 2013, 10:52 AM EDT

As bees are starting to mysteriously disappear nationwide, the more than 600 locals connected to the bee industry as either bee keepers, sellers or marketing bee products are doing their best to adapt.

Across the mountains its estimated that both commercial and hobbyist beekeepers lost about 50 percent of their hives.
That's millions of bees, dying off as a result of factors that could include mites, viruses, pesticide exposure and habitat loss.

The bee loss has supplier John Christie of Wild Mountain Bees growing long wait lists of folks hoping to start hives anew, after losing their this winter. Christie says his wait list usually has about 25 people on it, this year it has 335, with more than 200 hopeful customers on the cancellation list.

He produced 6500 pounds of honey last year, but this year Christie says he's foregoing most of his honey production. The money is now in selling the bees themselves.

Bee City USA Director Phyllis Stiles there are a couple of key things people can do at home that will help shore up the bee population. When you garden this year, use flowering plants that the bees can pollinate - land development is reducing the amount of flowering foliage that bees dine on. And avoid using pesticides on your lawn or garden.

To learn more about the bee shortage and what you can do at home to have an impact:

By Ashlea Surles
Follow Ashlea on Twitter @AshleaSurles

Local Bee Industry Adapts To Shortage

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