EAGLE POINT, Ore. – It’s just a week before the first official day of spring. With flowers in bloom, and buds on the trees, honey bees are hard at work moving pollen and storing nectar.
Studies analyzing the patterns of bees state that one-third of the food humans consume is pollinated by bees. But research shows that every year we see a decline in bee colonies and the profession of beekeeping.
David Curtis is a local beekeeper who owns The Oregon Bee Store in Eagle Point. He explained that the trade is being overlooked by younger generations.
“The average age of the commercial beekeeper is over fifty years old, that’s the national average, so obviously that means we’re kind of on the dying side rather than the blossoming side. However we do have quite a few younger people, commercial beekeepers getting involved” Curtis said. Curtis remarked that new weather patterns due to climate change, and unfamiliar insect pathogens are killing more colonies each year.
The Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association (SOBA) offers courses to get involved in beekeeping, and support the population of bees in Southern Oregon. Next month they will host a beginning beekeeper class on April 19th. You can find out more about how to register for this course here.