New Pesticide Labels Hope to Save Bee Populations - WRBL

New Pesticide Labels Hope to Save Bee Populations

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Columbus Beekeepers say 2 of our daily meals come from honey bees. Their pollination helps fruits and other foods grow. Beekeepers say the bee population is dwindling, but the Environmental Protection Agency has issued new regulations on pesticides to protect these helpful insects.

Jim Harris has been a bee keeper in Columbus for more than 30 years. He said more than 1/3 of our food supply comes from bees due to pollination so it is important that their populations thrive.

"Watermelons are about so big. If that hadn't been pollinated at least 8 times that thing would look like little bitty twisted cucumber," said Harris. He said one of the reasons the bee population is dwindling is due to homeowners misusing pesticides around their yards.

"A lot of them go out there and spray all around," said Harris. Jim Ellis another Columbus bee keeper said there are guidelines homeowners should follow.

"Bees quit foraging about 4:00 in the afternoon so it is better if they would wait until later in the evening if they're going to dust for the pests, do the dusting later in the evening and try to keep it to the lower part and extremities of the plant," said Ellis.

The Environmental Protection Agency is promoting these guidelines and others. They will include a new bee advisory label on pesticides that will tell consumers when and where to spray if bees are around. Harris said this is a step in the right direction but people can take a more active role to make sure bee populations do not decline.

"We're trying to build up more and more people to keep bees. Like I started here, and both my neighbors are getting into it, and I got a new neighbor who is thinking about it too," said Harris.

Oxbow Meadows holds bee keeping classes about once a month.

You can visit their website at http://oxbow.columbusstate.edu/index.php to find out more about them.

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