Braman raising awareness of honey bee death epidemic

Date: 9/4/2015

AGAWAM – Braman Termite and Pest Elimination is raising awareness about a life-threatening honey bee phenomenon to coincide with National Honey Bee Day, which took place Aug. 22.

The mystery behind mass honey bee death – a 30 percent loss each winter on average within the last decade – is an issue of colony collapse disorder (CCD). CCD is a syndrome defined as a dead colony with no adult bees (or dead bee bodies), but a live queen and usually honey and immature bees still present.

The exact cause of CCD is unknown, however a certain category of pesticides known as neonicotinoids are known contributors to honey bee loss. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed rules to prohibit the use of certain pesticides on sites where crops are in bloom and managed bees are under contract for pollination services.

“At Braman Termite and Pest Elimination, we focus on being environmentally responsible when it comes to pest management,” Jerry Lazarus, third generation owner of Braman Termite and Pest Elimination, said. “While neonicotinoids are most often used in agriculture and for commercial purposes, such as lawn care, that Braman does not commonly provide, we feel it’s important to raise awareness about this problem in our communities – many of which are largely focused on agriculture. The collapse of honey bee populations will have an impact on our local economy and even what we eat.”

Honey bees gather pollen and nectar for survival and a very important side effect of this behavior has a direct impact on agriculture by pollinating the crops that we eat. Honey bees pollinate crops including apples, almonds, blueberries, cherries, avocados, cucumbers, onions, grapefruit, oranges and pumpkins to name just a few.

It is important to note that researchers have not identified neonicotinoids as the cause of CCD and other known factors that harm honey bee health are also being considered, including the varroa mite, which attach to a honey bee and spread disease, and poor nutrition.

Beekeepers are working to sustain honey bee colonies using tactics like colony splitting and providing pollen supplements for nutrition. However, these tactics to maintain honey bee populations are costly.

To help support beekeepers and local agriculture, Braman Termite and Pest Elimination suggests the public consider buying local honey and byproducts such as candles, lotions, soaps and balms containing beeswax or planting a garden that attracts honey bees to provide adequate nutrition.

For information about Braman Termite and Pest Elimination, please visit