Cadiz library program to educate about bees

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON A bumblebee makes its way to a flower to collect more pollen. By spreading pollen from place to place, bees of many different species prove to be a valuable agricultural resource.

CADIZ — Although many people don’t consider the impact a small insect can have on their lives, the fact remains that bees play a critical role in agriculture and without human intervention, food production in the country could suffer greatly.

The Puskarich Public Library in Cadiz will be hosting “The Magnificent Bee,” a program designed to help raise awareness about bees and the critical role they play in the agricultural process. The honeybee is a pollinator — the worker bees range out from the hive to gather pollen from various flowering plants, which is then taken back to the hive to make honey for nourishment. In addition to this valuable product, bees help with the propagation of various plant species through pollination; flower pollen is spread by the traveling bees, helping to fertilize various plant species so they can spread and flourish. This process makes the bee an invaluable part of the life cycle of many plants and a friend to farmers everywhere.

In recent years, honeybees have been suffering from declining numbers due to “colony collapse disorder,” which can wipe out whole hives in a short amount of time. Causes of colony collapse disorder can be varied, from pesticides and fungicides accidentally targeting the insects to changing temperatures or parasites. Beekeepers and other farmers across the nation are working to help educate the public about the importance of bees.

The presentation at the Puskarich Library will help educate those interested about the important role that bees play in agriculture, as well as the factors that threaten the species and what people can do to help protect the future of bee populations. Those interested in getting a start in beekeeping will learn some tips for keeping their own hives. Pam Singhaus, library assistant, said that the program will be put on by Bob Hooker, a member of the Harrison County Beekeeper’s Association. Singhaus said the association has worked with the library before and that she was pleased at being able to reach out to him to put the idea together.

“I reached out to him because they are offering a beginning beekeepers course that will be held here in March,” Singhaus said. “I thought it would maybe interest others into taking the course.”

The program will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at the library. Singhaus added that the association will also offer several beginning beekeeping classes in March. For more information, call 740-942-2623.

“I think it’s great,” Singhaus said of the class. “They’re very good about sharing their information, and it’s fascinating to learn about bees and the roles they play.”