Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Moab, UT

86.1 F

    Shue: County’s honeybee population cut in half

    Featured Stories

    Arches, Canyonlands to reopen May 29

    Arches and Canyonlands national parks will partially reopen to the public at the end of the month, according to a spokesperson for the parks, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities.

    The party is over at Imagination Station art supply store

    Cindy Sue Hunter serves a customer at her art supply store, Imagination Station, which has been reconfigured to allow shoppers to do what Hunter calls “door shopping."

    Lionsback Resort: City of Moab seeks help from Utah Supreme Court

    The City of Moab has appealed to the Utah Supreme Court a lower court’s finding that it should...
    Doug McMurdo
    Doug McMurdo
    Editor Doug McMurdo reports on news out of the Moab City Center, tourism, courts, change of government and more.

    Deadly mite continues to pose biggest threat to pollinators

    A mite poses the biggest threat to honeybee population. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

    The number of honeybee hives and those who keep them was cut in half in Grand County over the past year, according to Honeybee Inspector Gerry Shue.

    Shue during a report to the Grand County Council on Tuesday said the primary issue is the presence of the Varroa destructor mite, a parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on honeybees.

    The disease caused by the mites is called varroosis, but it is not the only enemy threatening the honeybee population. The use of pesticides and climate change also play a role.

    He later said it doesn’t appear last summer’s repeated fogging for mosquitoes had any impact on honeybees because the fogging was done at night when they were in the hives.

    “There’s no doubt it wiped out a lot of beneficial insects,” Shue said of the fogging, “but bees did not suffer.”

    Shue said he continues to collect samples of feral, or wild honeybees and he continues to find genetics that can be traced to Africa. For reasons he still doesn’t understand, however, the bees in Grand County have not demonstrated any of the aggressive behavior Africanized bees are known for — which is not the case in the St. George area.

    “Why we escaped, I don’t know,” said Shue.

    In other bee news, Shue said the U.S. Forest Service is under pressure to allow large hives in the Manti-La Sal Forest, an idea he doesn’t care for.

    “There’s a lot of concern on the impact of native pollinators,” he said, adding bees already in the forest could be outcompeted for food and could catch diseases carried by the large hives.

    The county has an ordinance preventing the importation of such hives, he said, which is something the USFS could use in the decision making process. He urged the county to oppose the “issue of large truckloads of honeybees in the national forest. They are open to input from cooperating agencies,” he said before adding, “I think it’s a bad idea.”

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    Gas prices creep up as holiday dawns

    The national average price of gasoline has risen 2 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $1.86 per gallon Monday.

    Nominees sought for Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize Advisory Council

    It will focus on endangered species protection, invasive species management, poaching and wildlife trafficking prevention, and nonlethal solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, according to a press release from the department.

    School leaders say past months have taught ‘resilience,’ the power of relationships

    The Times-Independent interviewed Grand County High School Principal Steve Hren and Grand County School District Superintendent Taryn Kay on May 11 about their experience and thoughts about the two prior months, in which local campuses closed, and students were sent home to finish off their year doing distance education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The class of 2020 will celebrate like none before

    With physical distancing and social togetherness the name of the game amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the class of 2020 from Grand County High School will join their peers around the state, country and world to celebrate their graduation in a manner that will be altogether unprecedented and unique but will — to the degree that it is safe — bring them together to celebrate on May 28.

    Grand County High School 2020 Senior Class

    The class of 2020, including a photo of some of the soon-to-be graduates from kindergarten.