pollinators | WABE 90.1 FM

pollinators

Mark Schlueter

Beekeepers are still losing honey bees to colony collapse disorder. Though the crisis isn’t as bad as it was just a few years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says it’s still bad enough that beekeepers are not able to recover what they’ve lost. So scientists are looking to use other kinds of bees to help pollinate crops. They have plenty to work with: there are more than 4,000 species of bees native to North America.

‘Bee Eden’

James Gathany / CDC, Wikimedia Commons

The possibility for more pesticide spraying amid heightened fears of Zika by both metro Atlanta government entities and private citizens has beekeepers worried.

“If [the pesticide] does contaminate the pollens and nectars the bees are going to, they'll take it home, and then it damages more than just the bee it landed on,” said Cindy Hodges a past president of the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association. Anyone spraying their yard with pesticides could harm area bee colonies, she said.

wild bergamot
Joshua Mayer / Flickr.com/8584048@N05

In Atlanta, it’s hard to ignore the mosquitoes and roaches. But there are insects some people would like to see more of: pollinators, like butterflies and bees. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is working with other organizations on the Greater Atlanta Pollinator Partnership to make the city a better place to live for birds, bats, bees and butterflies.