State honey bee protection plan is all a buzz

Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 19:47:58-04

Honey bees are not your average insect.

In fact, it's estimated that one out of every three bites of food we eat is directly related to the pollination from honey bees.

In 2008, the honey bee population in the U.S. declined by about 25 percent.

Most recently, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is urging states to come up with a plan moving forward.

"There are so many crops that depend on pollination to grow," says George Robinson with the Idaho Department of Agriculture.

In its early stages, the Pollinator Protection Plan Committee is starting to form. It is made up of representatives of grower groups, pesticide application companies and beekeepers.

Mark Davis, who has been handling bees since he was a kid, says the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club is helping protect Idaho's buzzing populations.

Unlike any other insect, they live as a society.

"They can either grow as a society or they tend to die off [as a society]," Davis says. "So, it's important for us to keep them strong and healthy."

Davis not only rescues bees but is a beekeeper himself. He says the easiest way to do your part is to plant native flowers in your backyard.

Once the state plan is in place, Robinson, who serves as the committee chairman, says it will be posted on their website.

"You might have someone going, 'I wish I could do more.' And, it gives them an opportunity to go look and see what others are doing that's working," Robinson concludes.