New mites lead to decline in honeybee population

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – New mites are causing the honeybee population to dwindle.

Those mites give the bees viruses that make them unable to fly, leading to a decline in productivity.

Ben Powell with the Clemson University Extension Service has eight bee colonies and expects to lose at least two by the end of the season.

He said funding cuts by the USDA also hurt honey beekeeping and the honey industry.

“With bees, we send ’em out into the world and say hey, go find what you need and come back, bring it back. Unfortunately, when they do that, they encounter pesticides, they encounter plants that are toxic, they encounter hostile habitats to them.”

Ben Powell, Clemson University Extension Service

Powell says beekeepers can combat the decline of colonies with new mite treatments.

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