LUBBOCK, Texas — The sound of buzzing honey bees and the sweet taste of raw, natural honey is something beekeeper Gary Watts never wants to go away.
That is why beekeepers like Watts and others at Caprock Beekeepers Association are doing everything they can to help them out.
“When the beekeepers go in and look at their hives, they’re looking at ‘How are my kids doing?’” Watts said.
Honey bees face many odds, making it harder for them to thrive. They’re enduring droughts, Varroa mite infestations and have fewer plants to pollinate due to new buildings and other infrastructure coming into areas where plants could be.
They also face the threat of pesticides that are sprayed on crops.
All of these threats keep Watts busy as he works to make sure honey bees get the care they need. Watts said it’s important to care for honey bees because they are necessary for sustaining life.
“I can’t tell you what would replace the honeybee. I really can’t. I can’t imagine. What would happen to our ecosystem? I’m talking about agriculture — human beings — eating and surviving without the honey bee doing what they do,” Watts said.
Watts said one of the best things people can do to help save honey bees is to leave them be.
He believes it’s important not to kill them because every bee counts.
“Sit back and enjoy. Just watch. They’re really, really interesting. If they land on you, there’s not a threat. They’re like, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ Leave them alone, enjoy their presence,” Watts said.
If someone has a swarm of unwanted bees in or around their house, Watts said it’s important to reach out to Caprock Beekeepers Association for help or advice on how to remove them safely, instead of spraying and killing them.
For those who want to be more hands on when it comes to helping bees, Watts said they are always looking for more beekeepers to help get started.