Local Hives Losing More Bees - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Local Hives Losing More Bees

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You can hear the buzz as you enter the driveway. 170 colonies with 60,000 bees each.

Local beekeeper and honey producers Karen and Chris Foster of Hidden Valley Honey say in spite of some setbacks they are doing well. Specifically we were there to talk about hive collapse.

"It hasn't been a problem here in Nevada," Chris says. "At least not like you hear about back east where colonies are just mysteriously gone."

What they have noticed here is that they are seeing more annual losses.

"It used to be that we'd plan on leaving say 5%, maybe 10% of the bees in a season. Now we are losing 30% in a season. And we have to plan on that," Chris says. "I've also noticed the bees are working harder to produce more to make up for the losses. So I'm guessing they are stressed, and we have to plan ahead, but business is basically good."

Hidden Valley Honey is one of the few producers and sellers in the area. They routinely take hives to California where farmers rent them to pollinate crops.

"Because we travel we know that if there are pathogens out there we probably have them here. I mean how could we be avoiding bringing things back," Chris says. "But it's not impacting us here like it has in other states. That's not so say it won't eventually. I mean think of it this way if you lost 30% of your cattle in a year, you'd be in trouble. But we are keeping up."

Hidden Valley Honey produces about 20 barrels of honey a year. It's available at local stores including Scolari's Markets, Raley's and Whole Foods.

Written by Erin Breen

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