Little River golf course raises awareness about honeybees in new global initiative

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 6:54 PM EDT
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LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WMBF) - Eagles Nest Golf course in Little River is enhancing their natural habitat for honeybees.

The golf course is currently implementing a global initiative from Syngeta, an agriculture company, called “Operation Pollinator.” With this new program in place, the golf course hopes to raise awareness on how honeybees play an important role in our lives.

“Operation Pollinator is a program that identifies the issues that pollinators come to contact with and we are here to help golf course managers successfully establish and manage attractive wildflower habitats to address the decline of pollinators and promote more sustainable practices that diversify agricultural landscapes,” said Gracee Hendricks with Syngeta.

Eagles Nest Golf Course has a bee farm named Carolina Bays Apiaries which has 33 hives and the course is looking to double the hive in April.

“My passion is to keep them healthy and keep them alive. I worried about this past winter when we had a cold snap two weeks ago. That can really affect them,” said beekeeper Patricia King.

She has been taking care of these hives for three years. She studies them, feeds them, and provides the hive a new queen if she gets accepted by the hive.

King said this past winter year has been a success because most of her hive stayed alive. However, not all beekeepers’ have her luck when it comes to having their bees survive.

“A lot of beekeepers lose about 30% of their hives during the winter. We lost 5%. It’s a lot of education. There’s a lot out there that threatens bees,” said King.

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Bombus Pollinators Association of Law released a report last year. According to the report, the American honeybee has “declined by 89% in relative abundance and continues to decline toward extinction.”

With their habitat shrinking, King said awareness is key.

“There’s so much to learn from them. People don’t realize what a benefit they are. They don’t realize that every third of the food they take is because of the honeybees,” said King.

The local community of Little River can also get involved in their garden by planting flowers that attract bees and other pollinators.

A fun fact about Bees is that they can recognize and remember human faces.

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