Hundreds of wild bees found buzzing in the wild was once a frightening sight to behold. But now there’s a call to save the insect, which has been dying off in record numbers since 2006.
OK, we admit, it’s still a little scary.
The swarm of wild bees pictured above was discovered among the outdoor exhibits at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center in Riverhead and moved to a new home by beekeeper and Westhampton Beach chiropractor Dr. K.J. Malone Tuesday. Dr. Malone took the hive home where he has two other hives, according to an aquarium spokesperson.
More than a third of U.S. hives have died off because of Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, federal data shows.
CCD has claimed 33 percent of U.S. hives in the five-year period, 2006-2011 (the last year records were released), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fifteen billion dollars worth of American agricultural products are at risk due to CCD.
Long Island harvests about $250 million from agricultural products, according to the Long Island Farm Bureau. Crops pollinated by bees here include fruits, vegetables and flowers. And Suffolk County has been recognized as New York State’s “most productive county” agriculturally, according to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
A Harvard University study realeased this year found that two commonly used pesticides, imidacloprid and clothianidin, were to blame for half of the bees studied.