Idaho's bees are in trouble

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Beekeepers keep bees because they harvest the honey and they can also turn their burr-comb into lotions and candle wax, but their real benefit to society is their ability to pollinate crops.

So if you enjoy eating, you should thank the bees. No insect pollinates more of the crops we depend on for food than bees.

Idaho's bees are in trouble. In the last year, over half of the members of the Treasure Valley beekeeper's club lost their hives, including president Chad Dickinson.

"It was a very bad situation to where you basically end up having to go get swarms and having to start all over," says Dickinson.

The harsh winter played a role, but colony collapse disorder is also hitting Idaho's bee population hard this year. Pesticides and insecticides could be a playing a role behind this growing pandemic.

"Because, basically, anything that you spray on your plants ends up in the pollen and the pollen ends up in the hive and it can effect and weaken the bees," says Dickinson.

A microscopic parasite known as the varroa mite is also decimating bee colonies in Idaho. Biologists will continue to research colony collapse disorder, but in the meantime our primary food pollinators could use our help.

If you stumble upon a hive on your property, don't kill the bees, give the Treasure Valley Beekeeper Club a call and they'll come and get them.

You can learn how contact them by clicking here.