Beekeepers meet Thursday, May 16 to debate hive collapse

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Crystal Creek Center. (photo submitted)

Crystal Creek Center. (photo submitted)

Polk County beekeepers, like most U.S. beekeepers, are experiencing significant losses of hives. A hive may be healthy and thriving one day, only to be vacant the next. Many beekeepers have lost more than half of their hives this year, and no one knows why. Honey bees pollinate a third of all human food, so their loss as a species would be a serious blow to the diversity and quantity of food available for consumption.

Three leading explanations for hive collapse are central-nervous-system pesticides that cause foraging bees to forget how to find home, interference with navigational abilities caused by RF signals from cell-phone towers, and lethal Bt toxins found in the pollen of GMO crops. Diseases and infestations are less likely, because they would leave many dead bees in the hive, which is not occurring. The bees just do not come home.

Local beekeepers will gather at the Crystal Creek Center, located at 1689 Silver Creek Road in Mill Spring on Thursday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m. to share their experience and insights and to find a workable strategy to respond to the crisis.

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For more information, call Brian Crissey at 828-894-3101 or visit

– article submitted by Brian Crissey