Sonora, CA– There’s a group of bee lovers in the Mother Lode that are encouraging the public to call them first.
Lorinda Forrest, founder of the Sierra Foothills Beekeepers Association, says before exterminating pesky bee swarms, allow beekeeper’s to provide them a safe home.
According to Forrest, the dramatic bee colony losses of recent years are everyone’s concern, since honey bee’s are responsible for pollinating about 70 percent of the world’s food crops.
“In the 1940’s, the USDA started tracking the number of managed bee colonies in the United States,” said Forrest. “Back then there were six million managed colonies of bees, and now we’re down to 2.5 million. There are a lot of factors involved. Some of it has to do with the way agriculture has changed from small family farms to now massive mono crop environments where one particular crop is grown on hundreds, if not thousands of acres.”
The Sierra Foothills Beekeepers Association serves Mariposa, Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador Counties. Swarm removal is provided free of charge.