Number of Dying Honeybees Soaring To New Heights - WSPA.com

Number of Dying Honeybees Soaring To New Heights

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Stuart Van Meter relies on honeybees more than the average consumer. Stuart Van Meter relies on honeybees more than the average consumer.
HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. -

Stuart Van Meter relies on honeybees more than the average consumer.

He raises bees, sells their honey, rents colonies to farmers, and even teaches others how to do the same.

"It has been really difficult for people to keep bees alive from year-to-year," said Stuart Van Meter, owner of Gommin Acres Farm in Henderson County.

Many beekeepers across Western North Carolina lost half, if not all of their bees this past winter.

Nationwide bees have been disappearing since 2005. But as the numbers continue to rise, experts say it it's a problem that poses a threat to the country's food supply.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture says one-fourth of the American diet is dependent on the work of honeybees. Farmers use the insect to pollinate plants that produce such items, like almonds, onions, plums, apples, eggplant and peaches.

"You will see the cost of all these goods skyrocket," Van Meter said.

Van Meter says that honeybees often die from mites, virus or major changes in the weather. Although, recently some people are blaming the use of certain pesticides.

The phenomenon is known as the Colony Collapse Disorder.

Van Meter says if there are fewer bees to pollinate there will be smaller harvests.

While he doesn't mind a few less bee stings, he adds there's no pain reliever for paying higher prices at the grocery store.

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