Callie On The Job: Leedle Houme Bees - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Callie On The Job: Leedle Houme Bees

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MULKEYTOWN -- Callie's job this week is slightly dangerous with a sweet ending. She learns about bees and their importance to human life. 

In the words of Albert Einstein, "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

Doug Leedle, owner of Leedle Houme Bees, fully agrees.

"Every third mouth of food that we eat, a pollinator is involved. But 80 percent of all pollinators are honeybees," says Leedle.

Over its lifetime, a honeybee will hold nine different jobs in the hive. Bees work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During the summer, a honeybee lives from 35 to 45 days because they work themselves to death.

In each hive the bees are all female, except for the lone male bees called drones. The only job of the male bee is to mate with the Queen, but unlucky for them, once they mate they die.

Doug has been working with bees since he was 10 years old. He goes out and "talks to his girls" as he calls it, about once a week. 

He makes sure that the bees don't have any diseases, that the Queen is laying eggs and that the hive is developing.

Unfortunately, disease is becoming more common. About 10 years ago a bee shortage was determined. Bee Keepers are convinced that chemicals in pesticides are one of the main reason for disease.

But why should we care if the bees die or not?

Many crops need pollination to produce a good yield, and bees are also the maker of a natural sweetener.

Ever wonder what bees have to do to make a 16 oz. jar of honey? They have to visit one and a half million flowers and they fly up to 15 miles per hour. In a bee's lifetime it will only make up 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.

Leedle Houme Bees in Mulkeytown not only cultivates honey, but they also teach people how to raise bees on their own. Their goal is to make southern Illinois more bee welcoming.They encourage people to plant bee friendly gardens, have fruit trees, and to not kill bees if they see them, but to call a beekeeper instead. 

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