Bees Vanishing Nationwide

9 years 3 months 5 days ago August 31, 2007 Aug 31, 2007 Friday, August 31 2007 Friday, August 31, 2007 9:30:32 AM CDT in News

Concerned Missouri beekeepers are looking for help and speaking out.  At Sen. Claire McCaskill's farm bill tour Thursday, the plight of local beekeepers was not an issue the Senator had heard before.  No one knows why the bees are disappearing, but its affecting honey production and those who depend on that production for a living.

Art Gedler, who's been beekeeping for eight years, lost 20 beehives this yearThe disappearance of so many hives baffles him.

"Years ago Albert Einstein had said once, if the honeybees disappear, man will only have four to five years left ... that's scary,"says Gelder.

Bees not only produce honey but pollinate many plants we depend on.  Gedler doesn't want to wait until the day all bees are gone, so he's appealling to elected officials for help. McCaskill is now touring the state to hear directly from farmers about what they need.

"I learned how people feel about some of the other programs that are in the farm bill; the farmers that actually care about these programs," McCaskill said.

While she said she was unaware of the problem, McCaskill promised to look into the matter.  Gedler hopes the farm bill will provide assistance for beekeepers.

"I hope that the state of Missouri will be able to fund a full time apiculturist to be able to help us," Gelder said. 

For now, Gedler wonders if he will lose more hives this year.  He is afraid a further loss of bees could have a ripple affect on food production.

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