Hidden Valley Farm says it lost 100k bees to pesticides

On this World Bee Day, we’re taking a look at the importance of the hard working pollinators.

“I came in and no bees, I  mean one or two and I usually have hundreds of bees going out of the hives.”

A strange situation for Hidden Valley Farm Beekeeper, Chuck McCumber.  The Wimer area farm says it’s lost around 100,000 honey bees in the last couple of days.

“I talked to some other beekeepers and they said that’s pesticides,” said McCumber.

They believe it’s most likely caused by toxic weed sprays. Now, the farm is trying to raise awareness about the dangers of pesticides.

“People don’t understand there are natural pesticides and there are good ones out there you can use, what happens is we’re not reading the labels, and if it’s harmful to your pets and animals then it’s harmful to the bees,” said McCumber.

There are things you can do to help. He says there are many natural pesticides and weed sprays out there. Pesticide labels are also clearly marked to tell if it’s toxic to bees or not.

“Make sure that you plants that aren’t gonna be pest prone, most plants you can put in your garden don’t require any pesticide,” said Oregon’s Pollination Health Extension Specialist, Adony Melathopoulos.

Despite the threat of pesticides, Oregon’s Pollination Health Extension Specialist says the honey bee population is up. The reason is the increased demand for pollination.

“Just wanting to make people more conscious of everything that they do in life decisions they make what they use what they eat and drink so many things bees are just one little aspect of it,” said McCumber.

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Jenna King
NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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