Since 2006, bee colonies have been decreasing in number on a worldwide scale. Things may continue going from bad to worse, as experts predict more decreased numbers this year.
Bruce, South Dakota may only have 200 residents, but that doesn’t stop this community from gathering a lot of ‘buzz’ this time of year. Workers at the Adee Honey Farms extract honey from honeycombs, filling barrels of honey each day. This process continues until sometime in October.
With bees constantly flying around the room, employees at the honey farm continue with their day as if nothing unusual is happening. To them, these are just normal working conditions and this is just another day at the office.
Richard Adee is one of the owners. He says even though he loves working with bees, the business side continues to struggle.
"Our problems really started in 2006, when the neonicotinoids really became prevalent," says Adee. "That’s when the whole industry started seeing a decline."
Adee says he wants to see all neonicotinoid products banned. One example is the pesticide company ‘Bayer,’ from Germany. Ironically, Germany has banned the use of all products that contain neonicotinoids. However, those products are still available in the United States.
"I thought that’s quite something when your own home country bans your neonicotinoids. Some providences in Canada have banned them," says Adee. "They’ll eventually ban them down here, but it could take awhile."
Along with producing honey, honeybees also help pollinate crops – especially those that are grown in the Midwest. In October, Adee and other honey farmers will know their exact numbers on how they did this year. At this point, Adee is predicting more declining numbers. Adee says his solution is continuing to work hard, and hope for better numbers next season.