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Stories: Commercial Bee Keeper

David Hackenberg

Story Location: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania More stories in this location

David Hackenberg is a commercial bee keeper, he transports his bees all over the country to pollenate crops. In total he has around 3000 hives, each hive can contain 30 to 40 000 bees.

David supplements the bees’ diet  with a special protein, because of changes to the environment, they don't get the nutrients they once did from the flowers alone.

This environmental stress has also caused David to lose a significant number of his bees. He can’t be sure why, but he believes it may be the various pesticides and chemicals used on the crops that cause the bees to leave their hives. David and his fellow pollinators lose 60 to 70 percent of their bee population every year; he is continuously replenishing his colonies. This phenomenon has been dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder and scientists are looking into the causes of it.

If it continues to happen and there are no longer any bees to pollinate crops, not only is this a scary prospect for David and his livelihood, it he thinks that it will also change what we are eating. Many fruits and vegetables could disappear, leaving us with just wheat and soy-based produce.

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