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East Texas bee population affected by cold winter

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 5:47pm

One local beekeeper says our cold winter has really taken a toll on our East Texas bee population, which spells trouble for farmers relying on bees to pollinate their crops.

Dick Counts has been a bee keeper for more than 40 years. He says, the climate is crucial to the bee population and at this of year he hasn't seen anything like this in a very long time with the recent freeze in East Texas has affected bee activity.

"About a 40 degree temperature drop, yeah so it's a volatile weather pattern and it looks alike it's going to stay this way well into the Spring so I can imagine it can be quite confusing for plants and animals alike," said KETK Chief Meteorologist.

Counts relies on good and steady temperatures. "Like today it's 60 degrees out here but the cold wind I blowing and we don't see any bee activity."

As long at the bees can access honey they can live and survive temperatures and the problem is when they can't get to the honey they are going to freeze, they're inside trying to stay warm.

Counts says, people really need to understand how important it is to have bees. "Every third bite a bee is responsible from pollination, pollination is the most critical thing that the honey bees does for the human race."

Fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts rely on pollinators such as bees. He says people are responsible for the environment and the bee population needs to grow. "Chemical, chemical, chemicals, we are killing our bees and the bigger question is are we killing ourselves we have to be hurting humanity over all."

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