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Rescuing Bees & Colony Collapse Disorder

Without bees, there would be little, if any, flavor in the world. No strawberry, raspberry, or blueberry savory treats. No almond, mint, or, of course, honey. Bees supply our fruit trees with the pollination necessary for us to have fruits and flavors. In fact, they pollinate one-third of all the foods we eat. They are a vital component of our ecological system and we need them to continue helping us enjoy our many dietary needs.

It is critical that bees continue thriving and pollinating our foods; however, a recent phenomenon has been occurring that is causing a drastic decrease in the bee population, called Colony Collapse Disorder. When a hive experiences Colony Collapse Disorder, the hive mysteriously disappears and dies. Scientists have been studying why beehives are disappearing at a rapid rate (millions), and trying to raise awareness to prevent further decline.

There is uncertainty among researchers as to what causes Colony Collapse Disorder, but several factors are thought to be causes such as chemicals, pollutants, poor nutrition, mites, and viruses. Whatever the case, it is important that we do not contribute to the problem by killing bees that are vital to our ecological system, and that we take measures to help bees stick around.

When someone with a bee problem calls me, The Bee Hunter, I am often asked whether or not I can safely remove bees without having to exterminate them. When possible, I will go above and beyond the normal call of duty to save a swarm or hive to ensure the bees' safe removal and find them a happy home (away from yours!). It is sometimes difficult to do so, as they all do not always survive the move, and sometimes need to be re-queened. If a hive loses its queen, all the bees will die.

As The Bee Hunter, I exterminate bees (and wasps, hornets, and other stinging insects). But I also love them and understand their importance. I work with local beekeepers in the Pittsburgh region to preserve bees and I give beekeepers the swarms and hives I am able to rescue, so that they can live happily in orchards where they belong.

That said, not every bee should be saved. Some are extremely harmful, and can kill humans. There are several different types, including wild and feral. The good bees cannot always be distinguished from the bad bees upon observation, as they may have the tendency towards a bad temperament. Likewise, bees are not happy when forced out of their home; in fact, they could get quite angry and pose a risk to humans, children, and animals.