Extreme heat is killing more honeybees in Arizona

The heat is impacting the honey bees’ food source of nectar and pollen.
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 5:45 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Cricket Aldridge works for Arizona Backyard Beekeepers. She manages and removes beehives across the Valley. Right now, she is working to keep colonies cool in the brutal heat. Cricket said the historic heatwave has been deadly for honey bees in Arizona. Some hives have melted and fallen apart.

“It collapses, and oftentimes the queen can be crushed, and if that happens, there is not other bee there that can replace her or another bee that can lay eggs. So, the colony can just die,” said Aldridge.

The heat impacts the honeybees’ food source of nectar and pollen. It is an issue that impacts all of us because honeybees are a vital part of the ecosystem.

“If you think about it, the insects will pollinate the flowers, which produce the seed to produce more plants. If there is not pollination, there are no seeds or plants and our food sources. It is all connected,” said Aldridge.

Aldridge said there are ways you can help. She recommends keeping a bucket of water outside your home to help bees stay hydrated in the heat. She also said if you come across a hive or a lot of bees near your home, call a beekeeper, not an exterminator.

“Honeybees provide so much pollination, which helps our food source but also oxygen for the plants. Having bees survive is vital really to our existence,” said Aldridge.

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