Declining bee population spells trouble for SWFL farm

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate across the country.

For the first time ever, a type of bee is on the endangered species list — the Rusty Patched bumblebee.

One out of every three bites of food we eat are influenced by honeybees, including 130 fruits and vegetables.

The bee population has been in decline for quite some time, said Allen Walker, a veteran beekeeper at Walker Farms.

“It’s been going on for the last 18-20 years really severely,” he said, adding that he’s lost a third of his colony in the last year.

It’s unclear why the bees are disappearing, but the problem is serious. Bees and other pollinating insects contribute about $29 billion to U.S. farm income, according to a study by Cornell University.

While it’s unclear why the bees are disappearing, Walker said we could soon be paying the price.

“Without bees, we don’t eat so well, because we don’t have the food available because of the non-pollination,” he said.

“Without bees, we don’t eat so well, because we don’t have the food available because of the non-pollination,” he said.

People can help increase the bee population by planting flowers along crop borders, roadsides, power lines and lawns, the National Geographic reported.

Reporter:Channing Frampton
ChanningWINK
Writer:Sabrina Lolo