Beekeepers discuss ways to preserve essential insects

Bee expert from Slovenia led discussion at UMass

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Bees pollinate about 80% of our food crops and contribute to agriculture around the globe. With such an important role to play, beekeepers from across the world are trying to come together and share information about how to improve the environment to keep bees.

Monday at the Center for Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the University of Massachusetts, local beekeepers came to hear from Professor Janko Bozic of Slovenia, which is considered the “bee capital of the world.”

“It’s exciting to be here to see so much attention by the beekepers, trying to do something new in a different way,” said Bozic, who is a professor at Ljubljana University.

“It is possible to increase pollinator health. There are ways to do it without pesticides and fungicides which are really hurting are bees, and to increase the bee forage which is what our bees need to stay healthy to eat, and self-servingly, feed us,” said Sandy Thomas of the UMass Center for Agriculture and the Environment.

In the 1950s, there were about six million colonies of bees; a number that is down now to about two million.

Professor Bozic will be speaking to beekeepers across the Eastern Seaboard in the next couple of weeks, in an effort to establish a World Bee Day.

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