Skip to main content

More honeybees are dying – here's how you can help this summer

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The honeybee population has been on the decline for a while. Just over the past year, beekeepers across the nation lost 44 percent of their honeybee colonies.

That's according to Bee Informed, an organization dedicated to helping the bees. The organization's study says the past two summers have had particularly high loss rates.

Bee Informed says it's completely normal for bees to die in the winter, but high summer losses are concerning.

Why is it a problem?

Gardner's Supply Company says bees – particularly honey and bumble bees – are typically pretty gentle and avoid stinging unless they feel threatened. It's usually the wasps and hornets that are more aggressive.

And bees are essential for fruits, nuts and berries. Without the help of bees pollination, those plants won't bear fruit.

Researchers say one clear culprit leading to their death is the varroa mite, described as a highly contagious parasite that's lethal to bees.

Additionally, the use of pesticides and bees not getting good nutrition is believed to be taking a toll as well.

How you can help this summer

Even if you're not a professional or hobby beekeeper, there are still things you can do to help protect honeybees this summer.

A good start would be to stop using pesticides.

There have been studies and reports saying popular insecticides are partially to blame for the dying bee population.

In fact, Minnesota floral business Bachman's quit using a harmful pesticide to help the bees.

The Honeybee Conservatory says making your yard (or even a couple pots in your yard) a more inviting place by providing bees with some native shrubs and flowering plants is another way to help.

And try to make sure you have variety so plants are flowering all season long, providing food and a safe habitat for the insects. Click here to see the different plants that bloom throughout the season.

Also, make sure the bees have a place to get clean water by filling a shallow container with fresh water. Add some twigs and rocks so the bees have a place to land.

Next Up

Stillwater Prison

Investigation after inmate found dead in cell at Stillwater prison

Drug paraphernalia was found by officers inside the cell.

2 (3)

Focus is on family fitness at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon

Don’t miss out on the running, racing and all the fun things to do for the whole family

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 2.29.47 PM

Family's tributes to mother killed by partner in St. Paul murder-suicide

The 30-year-old was killed by her partner, who then killed himself.

FatalEaganCrashSceneAug18

Eagan man killed after crashing into traffic signal

The 30-year-old crashed into a traffic light early Wednesday morning.

Melvin Carter

What's in Mayor Melvin Carter's budget proposal?

Here's what the St. Paul mayor is putting his focus on for the upcoming year.

WCCO building

Digital, streaming employees at WCCO-TV vote to unionize

The 15 employees will join on-air talent and producers as members of the SAG-AFTRA union.

unnamed-3

Police arrest man suspected of sexual assault, weapons threat in Eagan

The investigation prompted a SWAT response in an Eagan neighborhood on Tuesday.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 16

The latest reporting period averaged just under 1,300 new cases per day.

USATSI_12923669

Jason and Carly Zucker sell Edina home for $4.18M

The property was bought in 2020, months after Jason Zucker was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Related