Iowa's bee population dwindling - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa's bee population dwindling

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Experts at Hartman Nature Reserve in Cedar Falls said we are seeing honey bees die nationwide. If it doesn't stop not only will we see less honey on the shelves, but your fruits and vegetable prices may be higher.

Vic Collins, an eastern Iowan bee keeper, says he is about three weeks behind schedule. If it was his choice, his family farm would begin processing honey by the end of this month.

"That small hive there is a honey hive. This time of the year I should have at least maybe three and I only have one in most of them," said Collins.

Collins gets his bees from Northern California, but he says that's getting harder and harder.

"We started with 40 swarms last fall and we had something like seven this spring," said Collins.

Collins also said this wet Iowa spring has made it tough to make honey.

"Of course every time it rains, bees are in the hive, And when they're in the hive you have a hundred thousand bees eating honey instead of going out and collecting honey," said Colins.

Experts say a number of the bees are dying because there aren't as many wildflowers for them to pollinate. Instead that land is being turned into farmland.

Collins blames a large part of this bee collapse to insecticides. He says the queen bee has a hard time with it.

"So she starts out alright and first drone she is doing fine and the second drone is sterile. And then she's done and the hive is done unless you catch it. We're finding out that they did research and they said they found 18 out of 20 drones are sterile and all of them had fungicide DNA in the dead drones," said Collins.

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