Hundreds of dead bees

During the past 10 days, the operators of Vernon's Planet Bee honey farm have found hundreds of dead bees.

Ed Nowek and his daughter Olivia operate the Bella Vista Road business.

But it's not just their business that needs bees to survive.

“One in every three spoonfuls of food that we eat wouldn't exist if it wasn't for honey bees,” says Olivia. “Protecting the bees is very important to ensure food security.”

Global bee populations took a significant hit in 2008, with millions dying.

Planet Bee is planning to send some of the dead bees away for testing, to find out what's killing them.

Ed suspects the bees were poisoned, but not through any malicious action.

“It could be something used in agriculture, some treatments people are spraying,” he said.

Such spraying is usually done at night, when the bees aren't flying. But, on occasion, he has seen spray being applied during the day.

Considering bees can travel several kilometres in search of pollen, it's hard to say where the source may be.

“It's a challenge. I understand what farmers are faced with. We have a growing population around the world, and we need food and they need to produce their crops. I think everyone is working on coming up with better options on pest treatments and how to grow these fruits and vegetables,” said Ed.

But, people need to be aware of the plight of bees and the impact their demise will have on the food chain, he added.

People are encouraged to plant bee-friendly gardens – find more info here.

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