Bee populations making a comeback in Oklahoma this summer
After drought conditions reduced vegetation in Oklahoma, bee populations dwindled. Populations seem to be coming back this summer with more rain, experts say
In the ceiling of an office building in northwest Oklahoma City, bees had swarmed and formed a hive. Thousands of bees were getting into offices.
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Bee handler Wendell Scott, 63, was called to get the bees out.
Scott found a honeycomb and bee eggs in the eaves of the roof. He usually tries to remove beehives by hand, leaving the bees unharmed, but in this case, he couldn't get to the bees without doing too much damage to the building, so he had to call a licensed exterminator.
This was just one of many swarms that have been keeping bee handlers busy this year in Oklahoma.
Bees are back
The bee population took a dive in 2011 due to the drought and lack of flowers and other plants. But with more rainfall this year, the bees are coming back, said Don Molnar, apiary specialist with the state Agriculture, Food and Forestry Department.
Bees don't just produce honey; they pollinate crops.
It's estimated that every third bite of food a person takes in the United States is made possible by honey bees and other pollinators, he said.
In recent years, something has been wiping out bee colonies across the country, Molnar said. The cause remains under investigation. It could have been from pesticides, fungus, virus or bacteria — or a combination. But bee populations dwindled.