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Spring means busy bees on High Desert

By Alicia Inns
Published On: May 13 2014 09:15:00 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Alicia Inns talks with local beekeepers and experts about the importance of honey bees this season.

REDMOND, Ore. -

On Tuesday, things were really buzzing in Redmond.

"We are doing a hive inspection. We're looking to see if there is a problem with the hive. We're also splitting the hive and taking some frames out," said Richard Nichols with "The Hive Man."

After a long winter, a local group of beekeepers are checking out the hive.

"We want to see how well they came through the winter, if they have enough honey to survive into the spring honey flow -- and that's when they start getting nectar back from the plant," Nichols said.

They may sound intimidating, but bees are much more than a buzzing insect.

"Eighty percent of the food you eat is pollinated by bees, so if you think about the almond crops in California -- if they didn't have the honey bees, they wouldn't have any almonds," Nichols said.

Our agriculture depends on them and their hard work.

Experts say without them, there could be major consequences.

"Albert Einstein once said when the honey bee is gone, life on Earth will be another four years-- and then we won't survive without the honey bee," said Nichols.

And that's worse than a bee sting? Fruits, vegetables and flowers -- they die, when bees do.

Experts say we should respect them and learn from them. They're much smarter than we might think.

"We're just beginning to find out how smart bees are," Nichols said. "Bees can solve problems. We've never given them credit for that before."

A buzzing, crucial link in our food supply and way of life.

Beekeepers say if you see honey bees out in the yard or by the pool this spring and summer, just let them be.They are just looking for water and pollen, and will only attack if they feel threatened.

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