Sergey Lavrentev, 123rf Stock Photo

Bees have been on decline in the western hemisphere for the last 10 or 15 years, says beekeeper hobbyist Jim Gould. This is due to reduction in habitat, invasive pests and an increase in pesticide use. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte speaks with Gould about how beekeepers can bring populations back from the brink and how people interested in beekeeping can get started, ahead of the McCracken County Master Gardener's Toolbox program next Tuesday.

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Kentucky's chief beekeeper would like to see the numbers of her colleagues grow across the state in 2015. 


State Apiarist Tammie Horn said there are only a couple hundred commercial beekeepers in the U.S.  Horn, a senior researcher at Eastern Kentucky University, says the vast majority of those who tend hives in the Commonwealth are part-timers, otherwise known as sideliners.   She said these beekeepers can still see financial benefits.


Beekeepers from across the Commonwealth are still looking for some way to stop the loss of their hives.  The Kentucky State Beekeepers Association stages its spring meeting in Richmond this weekend.  The nation’s agriculture industry is coping with a massive die-off of the essential insect.  Besides honey production, bees are essential to the pollination of some crops.  Currently, association Vice President Jim Coss says they’re scrutinizing farm chemicals.

From NPR: Many fruit and nut farmers rely on honeybee hives to pollinate and continue growing their crop, but the honeybees just can’t do the work by themselves anymore. They need the help of other wild bees to get the job done. Those other bees, though, are disappearing, and it’s puzzling scientists.