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Honeybee decline concerns local beekeepers

Posted: 6:39 PM, Jul 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-10 19:39:39-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Recent budget cuts by the Trump Administration suspended a study that was looking into the declining numbers of honeybees across the nation. America lost millions of them within the last year. Losing high numbers of bees also impacted local beekeepers in Omaha.

"If you get a wet year, you'll see heavier losses than you will a dry year," says Lynn Danzer of the Omaha Bee Club.

Weather was to blame for much of the loss locally. The wet spring caused water to get into the hives, where the water would freeze at night thus killing the bees. Mold would also grow inside hives as well which would poison the bees.

According to a new study from a University of Maryland non-profit, beekeepers across the nation lost 40.7% of their colonies from April 2018 to April 2019. Weather takes blame, but so does the use of pesticides. "They're driven away by the scents and the toxins and they can attract that back to their hive," says Lauren Sitzman, a local beekeeper.

The Omaha Bee Club recommends not using pesticides in your yard, planting native plants in your garden, and buy local honey instead of chain honey. Buying locally means that money goes back to the beekeepers who then use it to help maintain their hives.

If you're interested in learning more about beekeeping, check out Omaha Bee Club on Facebook, or email them at contact@omahabeeclub.org.