The Buzz on the Busy Bees at Capitol Bee CARE
Published on May 20, 2015
Sean McKenzie is a beekeeper in America's Washington, DC area.McKenzie, 38, has been a beekeeper since 2006 and helped to look after an apiary in the White House grounds."Bees play a major role in our ecosystem. About a third of the foods we eat are pollinated by bees," says McKenzie."They pollinate the trees to produce fruits which feeds birds, which feeds humans. Without the bees, many organisms wouldn’t have the ability to procreate."Bees have been dying because of lack of habitat, pesticides, herbicides and a problem known as colony collapse disorder. "You have longer winters. With the climate changes, you have too short of a spring," McKenzie says."It’s a crisis because there aren’t enough bees to carry out the job of producing the number of bees needed for pollination each year.We’ve seen a 30 per cent loss."McKenzie has been trying to combat the problem by breeding local strains of bees."What I do is try to select for genetic diversity and also adaptability so that we can have better bees," he says."Bees are our friends, they’re our pals. They are wonderful creatures."Subscribe to our channelhttp://bit.ly/AJSubscribeFollow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/AJEnglishFind us on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/aljazeeraCheck our website http://www.aljazeera.com
In DC beekeeper Sean McKenzie, President of President of Capital Bee Care LLC has been witness to the bees’ struggles for many years. His academic research has been ongoing since 2010 and his research has been published in the proceedings of the 2012 conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the 2013 conference of the National Institute of Science, and the 2013 conference of the National Scientific Honors Society.
Sean McKenzie explaining bee facts to visitors at the USDA farmers market.
This year’s data was dramatic. The 30 packages of bees McKenzie ordered from a breeder in Georgia last year did not overwinter very well – 28 out of them did not make it through the cold. By contrast, 95% of his locally-raised queens flourished and are going strong in their hives all around DC.
His goal is to create a sort of Consumer Reports or “Angie’s List” report for beekeepers. “I take the losses for everyone,” Sean told me with a smile.
Read more: https://www.beaconreader.com/alison-gillespie/another-bad-year-for-honey-bees?ref=profile