Florida beekeepers abuzz with population concerns

National News

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (WPTV) – Though the bee population in Florida is faring much better than others taking a hit across the country, beekeepers are still concerned.

Honey bee populations, which help provide a lot of the food you put on your plate, are falling. Each winter, beekeepers are reporting an average 30 percent loss with parasites, pesticides and habitat loss playing a role.

Kevin Easton, a beekeeper in Palm Beach County, Florida, is abuzz with concern.

“We just can’t keep killing the bees,” he said, adding, “There are so many stressors, let alone the chemicals that we’re putting out there that they don’t know what to deal with or how to deal with.”

Though the state’s conditions are a bit better than other parts of the country, attracting more and more people to try beekeeping.

“Down here in Florida, we don’t see that as much of a problem because we have beautiful, year-round weather,” Easton said.

About 10 years ago in Florida, there were 500 registered beekeepers. Now, there are about 5,000.

“They’re very important for all of our fruits and vegetables,” Easton said.

That’s why he and other beekeepers believe the buzz surrounding the critical state of bees needs to get a whole lot louder.

“We certainly hope the bees survive. We need to make sure they survive. There’s no hoping about it,” Easton said. “We need to make sure they survive so we have a better paradise.”

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