Educators share how to help save the bees

Bees huddle in their hives after a harsh winter that killed off a large part of their colony. (KSNB)

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Buzzing bees can pollinate millions of plants a day. But with loss of habitat and food, and dangerous pesticides, they are dying out. Multiple species are even on the endangered species list.

“This last winter was really hard on them. In fact, there was a shortage of bees when they purchased new packages,” Grand Island CCC Community Education Coordinator Judy Weston said.

Hives in central Nebraska saw about an 80% loss in this last winter. Bees are responsible for one in three bites of food. From everything from coffee to beef, their pollination helps it all grow.

“If you love coffee you love a pollinator, if you love your cold beer at night believe it or not you love your pollinator. Even the alfalfa relies on bees for pollination,” Weston said.

The Grand Island Central Community College campus is doing what they can to help the bees in the area with a “pollinator garden”.

“Ask them about, you know the cone flowers are great, even the clover in your lawn is great,” Weston said. “You also need to think about your bumble bees which are a native bee. We need to make sure we plant flowers for them.”

Keeping more flowers in your lawn and watering less can help the bees passing by. Planting different kinds of flowers and native plants can offer up more chances for pollination and habitats.

But not everyone is a fan of the little yellow bugs.

“It's really about education and I had a discussion with a student who was a first time beekeeper,” Weston said. “He was very offended that people were upset about bees and I said you just have to keep educating and say well it's not as scary as you think it is.”

About 90% of all wild trees and plants rely on pollinators. So without them our world will look a lot different.