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How you can help local honeybees stay healthy and strong

These powerful pollinators not only help our flowers grow but they also play a key role in getting food to your table.


Honeybees, bumble bees and even wasps — they’re all vital to the health of everything ranging from plants to people. 

Martha Kiene, secretary of the Virginia State Beekeepers Association took WUSA9 into her backyard apiary to teach us more about the importance of these powerful pollinators. 

“They pollinate crops and there are certain crops that are only pollinated by honeybees — almonds, apples, strawberries, you know there [are] so many,” Kiene said.  

Bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops every year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additionally, bees play a key role in getting food on your plate. 

Kiene referenced the USDA statistics saying, “They say that one in every three bites is directly attributable to a pollinator. Which is significant.”  

So, how can you help the bees stay busy? Eric Malcolm, president of the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association, gave some tips. 

“Let your yard grow a little bit. Don’t necessarily worry about having this perfectly manicured lawn all the time. There [are] a lot of beneficial flowers that the bees need that if we have these manicured lawns, those are gone,” Malcolm said. 

But, what if you don’t have a yard? Well, according to Malcolm, even if you have limited outdoor space, there are still ways you can help.  

“Plant pollinator-friendly gardens, he suggested, adding, "Virginia mountain mint for example, it’s a native and bees of all kinds and butterflies, all the pollinators love that and it’s super easy to grow."

Just a few simple steps to help these little warriors in our complex ecosystem.

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