Dear Editor,

I read in last week’s Concordia Sentinel that LSU AgCenter entomologists received nearly a million dollars to study honeybee health. They are reportedly researching how stress factors affect honeybees.

But most of us know that the biggest problem facing the honeybee is insecticides.

I have been keeping bees for decades.

At 10 a.m. on June 28, an adjacent field was sprayed with insecticide for worms and stinkbugs. By 2:30 p.m., my bees were dying. Those that don’t die will cease production. These are the field bees that bring the food to the hives.

We’ve told by agriculture officials at beekeeping meetings that agriculture is bee friendly. But due to insecticides in the past, I lost 113 out of 153 hives. Since then, I’ve bought 30 hives and caught 28 swarms this year. After splitting and building nucs we got up to 148 hives and are now down to 132.

I am fighting to keep these hives alive. This is the worst time of the year to spray insecticides because it is honey-producing time. I’ve been moving my hives to different locations to try to keep them alive.

The Miss-Lou Bee Club once had 40 members, but because of the loss of hives due to pesticides, the meetings have ceased because most of the members lost their hives.

There is no question that pesticides are killing the bee industry and it’s time for agriculture officials to quit ignoring this fact.

Ken Ensminger

Vidalia

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