Less bees & butterflies equal fewer plants & foods

Bees are important for repopulating flowers

HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Some pollinator insects like bees might be considered pests; however, by killing them, we could also be leading toward a world with less plants and food.

Michael Katz told 22News, “We heard this weird sound and could not imagine what it was until we stopped and realized that that was bees and there was so many of them it was like there was electricity in the air.”

Unlike many places recently, bees are starting to buzz on Honey Pot Road in Hadley, and they’re proving how important they are to repopulating flowers.

“That’s a Plenty Farm” owners Michael and Cathy Katz were the first in western Massachusetts to get USDA funding four years ago to plant crops that attract pollinators, like bumble bees and butterflies.

In his 2015 fiscal budget, President Obama proposed 50 million dollars for the USDA to research and fund pollinator colonies. Two reasons bee populations are decreasing: fields are being cleared and insecticides.

“It’s a major killer of insects and it translocates from the roots of them up to the pollen and nectar and that’s where pollinators, bees, actually get their food.”

As if it weren’t difficult enough already to grow bee populations, it takes a specific bee to open a certain flower. For example, the flower the Baptisia needs a bee of a certain weight to open it and get the pollen inside.

Cathy said bees love wildflowers and perennials. “Dandelions a great bee plant and clover’s a great bee plant and unfortunately, culturally, everyone wants to get rid of them, and we really shouldn’t be getting rid of them.”

By planting a variety of flowers that blossom throughout the year, bees will have enough to eat, and in return, we will have crops to eat.

We witnessed how even just a slight wind was enough to keep bees in their nests instead of pollinating.

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