This week is the first National Pollination Week, which aims to draw attention to the decline of bee hives, and the ways beekeepers are working to save the vegetables, fruits and nuts we eat.
Without pollination by bees and other flying critters, there would be no fruits and vegetables and bee hives have collapsed at alarming rates– up to 30 percent each winter in recent years. But many people don’t know the crucial role beekeepers have taken on to keep pollination rates even, despite the rampant hive collapse.
One local beekeeper, Paul Camello of Queen Bee Honey Products in Pembroke, has joined the effort to create new hives.
As part of a queen bee rearing initiative program of the Plymouth County Beekeepers’ Association, beekeepers have imported a strong queen bee from California and have introduced her genetic material to foster new queens to introduce into new hives.
By splitting hives and giving them new queens, they’ve kept the level of pollination even, which they hope will prevent the worst case scenario of hive collapse: one estimate says humans could last but four years without pollinators.