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Lucky Stretch of the Southside Beekeepers Association discusses the importance of Honey Bees during an EGCC luncheon.

The Honey Bee population is dying off at an alarming rate.

The Honey Bee colonies are still around, but The Southside Bee Keepers Association is asking citizens to refrain from killing Honey Bees should they come across a hive.

Honeybees live in complex communities containing as many as 100,000 members. The infertile female bees known as workers who run the hive, make up the majority of the population. They gather nectar, pollen, and water. Honey gets produced from the nectar.

A worker will live only six weeks before she dies from exhaustion during the peak season.

There are only a few hundred drones in a hive. The male bees eat honey, fly around, and look for an opportunity to mate. Such unions rarely occur when a week-old queen goes on her mating flights high up in the air. Once they mate, they fall to their deaths. Those unsuccessful in their mating efforts are forcibly evicted from the hive by the workers in the fall.

A few years ago, during an Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, Lucky Streich, of the Southside Beekeepers Association, said without bees, the only insect to make food consumed by humans would disappear in only four years.

He encouraged people to plant flowers to help the bees. Bees are responsible for much of the food consumed by humankind. During Streich’s presentation, he said bees pollinate one-third of our global food supply. Plants and crops stay alive due to bees. Without bees, humans wouldn’t have very much to eat. The more flowers there are, the better chance bees will have to receive the nutrition they need to survive.

If you seek to have Honey Bees removed, some people are willing to come to Emporia-Greensville to remove the swarms without harming them.

Lucky Streich (757) 403-4616

Brent Gordon (434) 634-6667, or (434) 594-6113

Dale Weatherby (434) 848-4036

Donna Rogers (804) 720-3316

Bob Goode (757) 869-5796

Nancy Goode (757) 478-1628