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Today’s ag report: The buzz about bees

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 5:30 AM CDT
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(KWQC) - Hobby beekeeper Sharlin Barfield said the busy insects play a huge role in the foods we eat.

“It’s estimated that about 80% of the U.S. crops are pollinated by honeybees,” she told TV6 Meteorologist Kevin Phelps.

“So if you think about that statistic, 80% is a lot of food. And also it’s estimated that 1/3 of what we consume food-wise on a daily basis is thanks to a pollinator, especially a honeybee.”

Barfield said honeybees pollinate “a little bit of everything,” like citrus fruits, berries, blueberries, strawberries, melons vegetables such as cucumbers, asparagus, all sorts of vegetables.

They also pollinate things that help livestock, such as alfalfa and clover, she said.

On the very end of the spectrum is the beeswax they produce, Barfield said.

“There’s really a lot of things that bees do that help us be sustainable. One of the most interesting statistics that I tell people a lot is that the bees don’t live very long. So, a typical western honeybee, she lives anywhere from 14 to 28 days during the peak season, which is now.

“So if you think about her lifespan, and during that lifespan, she only produces 1/16 of a teaspoon of honey, which is not a lot. So, you think about that, think about what we’re trying to do to help the pollinators and the honeybees it’s very, very important that we all do our part to try to get them and to sustain them.”

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