Dead bees raise community concerns

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – They’re usually flying from flower to flower or hanging out at the hive. But when one Albuquerque woman stumbled across dozens of dead bees near a popular trail, she was worried.

Out on an afternoon stroll near the Albuquerque Academy, something caught Peggy Langenwalter’s eye.

“All of a sudden, we noticed a lot of dead and dying bees,” Langenwalter said. “I knew something wasn’t right.”

She took a video with her cell phone. It shows quite a few bees struggling with something clearly affecting them. Langenwalter guesses she saw three or four dozen in that shape.

“Bees seem to be a very good indicator of the health of the earth,” Langenwalter said.

Hoping to learn more, KRQE News 13 got in touch with her friend who also happens to be a backyard beekeeper.

Matt Vaive has studied bees for 20 years and he has kept them for the last two years.

“They’re important for all aspects of our life,” Vaive said.

To see so many bees turn up like what was found near Academy and Ventura, he says it’s not a good sign. He says it’s also tough to say what killed them, but perhaps it was pesticides.

“If you’re going to have pesticides applied, make sure it’s not airborne,” Vaive said.

Better yet, he says call a beekeeper if you have any kind of problem.

“We are going to prolong their lives and give them a place to live.”

Vaive says when they live, so do we.

“Thirty-five percent of our food, if the bee disappears, is gone,” Vaive said.

“I hope that people will take note and recognize the significance of the bee population,” Langenwalter added.

Another beekeeper says right now we’re in the middle of swarm season. It came about a month early. So if you do across one, keep your distance and call a beekeeper.

Beekeepers say honey bees are usually passive and aren’t interested in hurting humans.

If possible, they say avoid spraying pesticide directly onto flowers since bees can pick it up.

For more information on local beekeepers you can call, visit abqbeeks.org.

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