What happened to all the bees? Researcher says algae could be the cause

A Florida Gulf Coast university researcher says the blue-green algae is affecting the already suffering bee population.

Vice President of the Lee County Farm Bureau Keith Councell says, “Well, what we’re noticing is these bees are actually sick. They have basically what we call dysentery … These bees actually will crawl more than they’ll fly, which is another symptom of some type of distress in the system.”

Beekeepers believe the distress is caused by the blue-green algae creeping through our waterways.

Don Murray, Heritage Point beekeeper says, “Bees need water just like we do and every other animal and insect.”

Councell is moving bees away from a Cape Coral canal in an attempt to save them, “What we’re finding is bees close to the algae bloom areas, red tide areas, those bees are struggling, the bees that are not near those are doing very well. ”

And researchers like Serge Thomas from FGCU agree, “There are some papers that show that honey bees could actually be affected by the microsystine that’s in the water, the microsystine through the blue green algae. ”

Now beekeepers and experts are coming together to get funding to verify what they’re seeing is confirmed as honey production is way down.

Bees play a vital role in our daily lives. Councell says if they don’t get the funding from FGCU to conduct more research they will go up to the a University of Florida where there are already labs, “Without pollination you won’t get any fruits, so you won’t get any seeds, so that can have an effect on the entire ecosystem. “

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
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