SANTA FE, Texas - In Galveston County, a new plan could eventually help the bee population nationwide. After finding out pesticides used in mosquito spray planes had been killing thousands of bees in the county, a new notification system was put in place.
Working alongside beekeepers, Galveston County Precinct 2 commissioner Joe Giusti teamed up with the county's mosquito control and emergency management office to warn beekeepers of any changes in the schedule of the spray planes. The new system has been in place the last six weeks.
"It gives us the opportunity to either cover our hives, move our hives, take the necessary steps to protect our bees," said Dane Beito, owner of Gulf Coast Honey Bee Farms. "Having this system, we can protect our bees and they can still spray for mosquitoes."
Giusti says other counties in the state have taken notice of the program, and he hopes more will adopt the idea in Texas and in the rest of the nation.
With bees helping to pollinate all sorts of crops, the insect plays a vital role in the agriculture economy. However, the bee population in the U.S. has been declining. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, 40% of insect pollinators globally are highly threatened.