Many people think of bees as pests. They're scared of getting stung and they generally don't like them buzzing around. Honeybees do sting when they're feeling threatened, and this causes very real fear in some people.
So why is the federal government stepping up to protect them? It's actually very simple: agriculture. Without pollinators like honeybees, we wouldn't be able to grow many of the crops we depend on. They're essential to keeping fruits and vegetables on grocery store shelves.
Last week the federal government announced their plan to establish a Pollinator Health Task Force. Over the past few decades, pollinator populations have decreased substantially, and this has policy makers worried. Scientists believe the decrease in pollinators is due to a number of factors including poor bee nutrition, decreased bee habitat, parasites, pathogens and pesticides.
The purpose of this special Task Force is to reverse pollinator losses and restore populations of things like honeybees to healthy numbers.
While she admits she can't do much for commercial crops, Charlotte beekeeper Libby Mack says she's doing her part to improve bee populations within the Charlotte area.
She says honeybees get a bad rap, and that people in Charlotte -- and all over the county -- need to make an effort to keeps honeybees around rather than get rid of them.