Parasitic Infestation Of State’s Bee Colonies Threaten New York Food Supply


FOOD SUPPLY AS WELL. JENNIFER McLOGAN REPORTS FROM LONG ISLAND. Reporter: 11-YEAR-OLD PARKER IS PICKING BLUEBERRIES AFTER STUDYING THE CURIOUS AND TRAGIC DIE OFF OF THE POLLINATING HONEY BEE. TRYING TO HAVE A HEALTHY DIET. THAT’S WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE FARM. Reporter: WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING ABOUT BEES? I KNOW THAT BEES POLLINATE AND STUFF TO CREATE LIKE A — WELL ORGANIZED ECOSYSTEM. Reporter: ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND NEW YORK STATE BEE COLONIES CONTINUE TO BE UNDER ATTACK. A MITE MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR $500 MILLION IN LOCAL AGRICULTURAL LOSSES THIS YEAR. ONE-THIRD OF OUR WORLD’S FOOD SUPPLY IS DEPENDENT ON BEES. NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT STRAWBERRIES AND PEACHES AND APPLE. ZUCCHINI — WE NEED OUR BEES. WE NEED THE BEES. Reporter: HOME TO THREE OF LONG ISLAND’S 100 BEE COLONIES THAT FAN OUT TO PRODUCE HONEY AND POLLINATE CROPS. CORNELL RESEARCH SCIENTIST TEAMS ARE RESEARCH SEARCHING IF FOR A CURE TO THE MASSIVE DIEOFF. THE MITE IS A PARASITE THAT IS KIND OF SIMILAR TO A TICK. IT ACTUALLY LATCHES ON TO HONEY BEES AND IT SUCKS THE BLOOD AND FEEDS ON THE FAT STORES OF HONEY BEES. 90% OF NEW YORK EASE HONEY BEE COLONIES SURVEY READY INFESTED. THE LONG ISLAND BEEKEEPERS CLUB NAMES DISEASE, LOSS OF HABITAT ANDEST SIDES AS POSSIBLE CAUSES. LONG ISLAND HOMEOWNERS DECIDING I’M NOT GOING TO SPRAY BECAUSE THAT COULD BE PLAYING A BIG ROLE. WHEN THE MITE COMES IN THEY’RE ALREADY OPERATING WITH ONE HAND TIED BEHIND THEIR BACK. WE’RE WORKING WITH THESE BEEKEEPERS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN COME UP WITH. Reporter: THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET. INFESTATION IS SO COMMON THAT FOR NOW BEEKEEPERS ARE FOCUSING ON KEEPING THE MITES MANAGEABLE

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