Bring on the bees

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The past six to eight years have not been kind to the honey bee.

Experts report a nationwide shortage for bee keepers. Some hives have been reduced by 50 percent. Now there's an effort to rebuild the bee population and Kansas City is joining the cause. In a collaborative effort, a Pollinator Patch was stated today outside the Lakeside Nature Center in Swope Park.

The partnership is with Bayer CropScience, KC Parks and Recreation and Bridging the Gap, a local nonprofit.

The Pollinator Patch is 70x30 and includes about 30 different species and close to 100 native plants purchased in Belton, Missouri. The plants are very high in nectar, an excellent food source for bees.

"We are seeing a lot of reductions in honey bee numbers, a lot of different factors that go into that, living parasites, mites, fungi, and so forth that are playing a role," said Kristin Riott of Bridging the Gap.

Farmers are dependent on bees to pollinate crops, some even ship in bees in from different parts of the U.S. Without bee's, crop production would suffer.  The plants brought into the Pollinator Patch will provide the right kind of diet the bees need to grow and stay healthy.

"We want to provide a good source pollen and nectar for the bee's in the environment and also to try and help encourage people to understand the importance of pollinators and what they can do to play their role in bee heath," said Robyn Kneen of Bayer CropScience.

The KC patch is the second of its kind in the U.S. Bayer CropScience says its scouting locations in Texas and California as potential sites for future patches.

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