Bayer and Texas Tech working to increase bee population

Bayer and Texas Tech working to increase bee population

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The US bee population is under siege as numbers are falling.

"We've seen increases in diseases and winter losses in honey bees," Texas Tech plant and soil sciences professor Scott Longing said.

Jayden Michelson with the Growing Recruits for Urban Business (GRUB) program said the organization is giving students an opportunity to change that.

"This is one of the reasons that I came into the GRUB program," Michelson said. "It gives you different opportunities that I wouldn't get without this."

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, honey bees have been in serious decline for more than three decades. 

"Pollinators pollinate 75 percent of our crops and over 90 percent of wildflowers and flowering plants so it's important to sustain these population so we continue to have the foods that we enjoy and the natural habitats they provide," Bayer bee care specialist Becky Langer said.

If you have ever been stung by a bee, you may not consider this a bad thing, but without them we could have real problems with our crops.

"Pollinators are essential to crops that we may not even believe need pollinators to visit them," Langer said. "In our everyday work, living and playing, and landscapes that we like, the beautiful flowers, the fruits and vegetables that we eat on a daily basis. So every regions in the United States is going to benefit from a thriving pollinator population."

Texas Tech and Bayer are working to ensure these pollinators have a place to live in Lubbock. Working with organizations like GRUB, to teach students the importance of preserving the bee population and how to maintain an environment for them to thrive in.

"We're setting up some wildflower sites around here, we're planting wildflowers here and it's to attract bees," South Plains Food Bank CEO David Weaver said. "It helps them over winter and have something good to eat when we don't have crops out here that they need to be pollinating."

Michelson said she is going to stick with the GRUB program for the fun she is having and the learning experiences.

"This is a really good start for someone, and it's like, really good for the community," Michelson said. "It teaches you good lessons that you need to learn and it's really fun."

Bayer is not limiting their operation to just Lubbock. They are stopping around the country providing seed and working to provide more forage and a better habitat that will allow pollinators to thrive.

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