By now you’ve probably heard of colony collapse disorder, a general term used to describe the mysterious plague that’s decimated bee populations throughout the US over the last decade. A honey shortage is just the beginning of why dying bees is alarming. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, of the 100 crops that account for 90 percent of the food eaten around the globe, 71 rely on bee pollination. In other words, without bees, you could kiss produce like almonds, cherries, apples, and avocados goodbye.
Doug Fryer is a beekeeping hobbyist who, when he’s not saving lives or fighting fires (his day job is as a paramedic for Summit County Ambulance and a firefighter/medic for the Park City Fire Department), he is attending to hives throughout Park City. His recommendations for giving our local pollinators a helping hand include “saving the water for drinking and snowmaking” by replacing your turf with bee-attracting, drought-tolerant plants like Russian sage, rosemary, thyme, lavender, wildflowers, and succulents; avoiding use of insecticides made with bee-killing neonicotinoids—common in Bayer, Ortho, and Knockout products; and calling the Wasatch Beekeepers Association, versus a pest control company, to safely remove a swarm from your property.