Wright-Patt named Bee City USA in partnership to restore bee population

Honeybees are responsible for pollinating a third of the food we eat, but in recent years the insect’s population has more than halved. Now, a partnership between a local organization and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base looks to address the downward trend.

The Propolis Project promotes the conservation of bees and in doing so also helps educate the public on the importance of saving the honey bee.

With the partnership, Wright-Patt was recently designated a Bee City USA, a title given to communities working to preserve honey bee populations.

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Dwight Wells is a beekeeper with the project and said at one point there were seven million colonies of bees in the U.S. There are now only 2.5 million.

"The honey bees are having a difficult time with proper nutrition…A third of the food we eat especially vegetable and the fruit are pollinated by honey bees,” Wells said.

The partnership between the base and the project finds its home at Huffman Prairie, where a quarter million bees – or nine colonies – will have over 100 acres to grow.

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With that kind of room to expand, Wells hopes the 9 colonies will swell to nearly 25-30 colonies by the fall.

WPAFB Natural Resources manager Darryn Warner said education is another component to the Propolis Project.

"We're going to provide more educational materials with the base populous through our Facebook page and through educational materials.”

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