Keeping the Bee Population Buzzing

HANOVER TOWNSHIP -- April kicks off the beekeeping season, and it is one of the busiest months for bee keepers.

As the honey bee population dwindles, people drove from all over the east coast to Luzerne County to stock up on bees.

Millions of bees buzz under one roof near Wilkes-Barre. The bees kept are kept in a bee bus at Mann Lake Ltd., which specializes in everything related to beekeeping.

It's an exciting time for beekeepers and an important time as well, while the bee population keeps shrinking.

"Not only are honey bees, but all of our native pollinators have been in trouble for a while. They are suffering for lack of forage from pesticides as well as parasites," said Frank Licata, operations manager at Mann Lake Ltd.

A survey found as of April 2016, beekeepers around the U.S. lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies in one year.

This decline in the national bee population is not lost on German Perilla of Virginia. The professor will take colonies of bees from here to undergo research at George Mason University to help bee colonies bounce back.

"Food security in this country and in this world depends on bees and pollenators. Honey bees pollenate a third of the food we eat," said Perilla.

Augustine Filomena from Connecticut is a native of Wilkes-Barre and picked up 50,000 bees. He plans on revitalizing his bee farm.

"The best way to help the bees is to plant a lot of flowers and become a bee keeper or buy your honey from a local bee keeper, and it's really important to know where your honey is coming from," Filomena said.

Mann Lake Ltd. plans to keep selling bees through the month of April.