Local beekeepers react to Obama's bee task force

, Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Mon, June 23 2014 at 5:50 PM, Updated: Tue, June 24 2014 at 3:29 PM

Ashland, Ore. -- Southern Oregon beekeepers are celebrating a new plan by president Obama. The White House is putting together a task force to look into the drastic decline of honey bees and other pollinators. 

In northern California, the almond industry is at risk because it depends on 1.4 million beehives annually for pollination.

Ashland beekeeper Laura Ferguson has been working with bees for 10 years.

"Honeybees in particular have an extreme impact on our agriculture in this country, around the world actually," said Ferguson.

Ferguson is glad to hear that President Obama created a task force.

The group, comprising of various agencies, will look into why the number of honey bees and other pollinators are dwindling and find ways to boost their conservation.

Ferguson said, "I think there's a great deal to be done, but I feel like we should remind the people that are going to be studying this, that we can't solve the problem with the same mind set that got us into this problem."

Research shows pesticides and mites, along with other factors, have caused the honey bee population to decline in recent years.

The President's plan will increase acreage for all pollinators and nearly 50 million dollars will go towards more research.

Besides flowers, and food, pollinators contribute more than 24 billion dollars to the United States economy.

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About the Author

Kyle Aevermann

Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.

Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.

Catch Kyle anchoring weekends on NBC 5 News at 6pm and 11pm.

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