Experts concerned bees may disappear - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Experts concerned bees may disappear

Since 2006, the dramatic disappearance of honeybees has been somewhat of a mystery, as a third of the population that lives in the United States simply no longer exists. Texas has a healthy bee population.

"The population is always growing. We have hives here in East Texas that come in from the Dakotas and other states that winter over here," says Texas A&M Gregg County Ag agent Hugh Soape.

But honeybee numbers have been declining in the US for years, which has been a red flag for folks who make their living in agriculture.

"Agriculture depends very heavily on bee population," Soape says.

Without a healthy bee population, plants and flowers would begin to disappear, whole crops would fail, all because of the simple process that bees perform , of cross-pollination. Randy Bobo is a Longview area beekeeper who also traps nuisance bees, and says a number of things could be causing the loss of bees.

"The bees are over-stressed, the bees are underfed because they're being fed inferior product," Bobo says.

Research says parasites, poor nutrition, disease and pesticides are all to blame what's now called "colony collapse disorder."

"Some of those pesticides get retained in the wax they use over and over again. It can actually kill a whole hive. A third of our food population is pollinated by bees," says Bobo.

A natural occurrence beyond human control.

"The more times a bee goes into the bloom the more likely it is to be pollinated," Soape says.

Without them, just having food could be a problem. Bee experts say one way we can help is by making sure that any pesticide we spray is 'not' harmful to bees. The federal government is also trying to come up with a strategy to address the bee losses.

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