TALENT, Ore. -- Over the past couple of decades Meyer Orchards says it's seen a rapid decline in the local bee population. To make-up for a lack in pollination, they bring in more than 2 million bees from Portland to pollinate their pear blossoms.
Meyer Orchards has been in Talent for 108 years. The owner, Ron Meyer, remembers a time when he could walk through the orchards during Spring and head a buzz.
"You could hear the bees in the air, the air was just buzzing with wild bees," says Ron Meyer.
Over the years that buzz has gone away, "The wild bee population almost disappeared," says Meyer.
This is bad news for any farmer, but especially for Meyer and his pear orchard. Pear blossoms don't produce nectar, only pollen, so bees aren't as attracted to them.
"Pollination is important, no pollination, no pears," says Meyer.
Meyer says there are three main reasons for the decline in our local bee population. First is the bee mite. It goes into the bee's respiratory system and smothers them. Next is the collapse in bee colonies. Last, are toxins from pesticides.
Meyer says when he brings in the hives to pollinate his pear blossoms he makes sure they are all completely removed before they spray.
"We do everything we can to protect the bee population, because they are important to us," says Meyer.
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