Maine beekeepers helping newcomers start local hives
Studies show Maine’s bee population has been declining since the 1980s
PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - It has been a busy start to spring for the beekeepers at The Honey Exchange in Portland.
Earlier this week, they retrieved about 4 million bees from Georgia and transported them back to Maine.
Meghan Gaven is one of the store’s owners and has been beekeeping for 14 years. She said interest in beekeeping saw noticeable growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite some misconceptions, managing a colony does not require a large yard.
“If you have an apartment with some space on the roof, you could absolutely keep bees there,” Gaven said.
The bees brought back from Georgia are being distributed to their customers, local beekeepers who are starting their own colonies around Maine.
Bees are crucial for Maine’s ecosystem. Their role in pollinating plants is needed to grow crops like blueberries.
Across the world, bee populations have been declining in recent years.
According to a study from the University of Maine, the state’s bee population has decreased by more than 40% since the 1980s.
Gaven said while individuals in Maine cannot solve the problem of declining bee populations, responsible beekeeping has positive impacts on local plant life and ecosystems.
“The more beekeepers the better, " she said. “It really is a wonderful opportunity to have an impact that maybe you don’t see directly by you know is happening.”
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