Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus spent part of Friday morning meeting with kindergarten students at Chester Elementary School to teach them about beekeeping and the importance of honey bee preservation.
“I had a wonderful time with the students and the staff at Chester Elementary School,” Neuhaus said. “They were gracious hosts and it was fun teaching them about the important role that honey bees play in our environment. Having the opportunity to spend time with Orange County’s youth is so rewarding and one of the highlights of my job.”
Neuhaus, a beekeeper, taught the students about honey bees, beekeeping and ways to preserve the insects. He also provided them with samples of honey he produced at his home.
“We all appreciate that County Executive Neuhaus took time from his busy schedule to educate our students about honeybees,” said Tricia Maggi, a kindergarten teacher at Chester Elementary School. “They were excited to host him and learn about honey bees and the important role they play in our ecosystem. Executive Neuhaus’ enthusiasm for honey bees is genuine and much appreciated.”
As the warm weather approaches, Neuhaus encourages residents to call a beekeeper to safely remove honey bees from their property and save the important insects. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honey bee populations face increasing risks from parasites, disease, lack of adequate nutrition and pesticide exposure.
Residents dealing with honey bees can call 911 to provide them with beekeeper resources available in Orange County. The website www.honeybees911.com has a list of beekeepers in the County. A beekeeper can safely gather and transport the bees from the residence or business, often for free. Residents can also visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s website, cce.orangecounty.org, for more information about honey bees, beekeeping and beekeepers.
Bees, butterflies and other wild insects are crucial for pollinating many crops essential to the human food supply. Experts say the dramatic population drops in the bee population in recent years appear to be caused by a combination of pesticides and loss of habitat that has made pollinators more vulnerable to diseases and parasites. Pollinators, both wild and managed, are critical to food production worldwide. The annual value of insect pollination in New York State is estimated at $500 million. Some foods, such as tomatoes and blueberries, depend entirely on insects for pollination.
“Our food supply would be greatly diminished without the pollination work done by bees and I appreciate residents being sensitive to these insects,” Neuhaus said. “We all need to do whatever we can do to preserve and protect honey bees because everyone is dependent on them and their role as the great pollinator.”
For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.