Bee Added to Endangered Species List, Experts Urge Proper Hi

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Donna - For the first time ever, U.S. Fish and Wildlife has placed a species of the Bumble Bee on the endangered species list.

The agency says the bee population has been in the declines since the late 90's, with certain species dropping over 80%.

It's an issue, bee handler sees first hand.

"There's a big decline in bee population and we're the cause of it," says Bee Specialist Luis Slayton.

Slayton makes his living off of bees, especially with their honey.

News of the declining bee population didn't come as a shock. He says he's noticed many people who find they have bees on their property handle their removal incorrectly.

"A lot of the times people spray bee hives or we're just killing them off."

U.S. Fish and Wildlife say the cause of the population drop can be linked to loss of habitat, parasites, and through the use of pesticides.

Aside from making honey, bees also benefit farmers by pollinating crops, many of which are grown here in the valley, like citrus, cabbage, and tomatoes.

Slayton says he is doing what he can to prevent the population from decreasing locally.

"One of the factors that we can try to help is that they are eliminated cause they are a nuisances so we go out there save a bee hive and risque them from what would other wise be an extermination."

Slayton's group removes bee hives at no cost for low income families.

He hopes this will prevent people from exterminating hives in the future.


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