Bee breeders save insects, your home - Tucson News Now

Bee breeders save insects, your home

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Africanized killer bees have lead to the death of many pets, hikers and children in Arizona.

This year, experts say the swarms are larger and more aggressive. In fact, one bee expert says one in every five homes has a hive, and tackling it yourself can be deadly.

While many exterminators get rid of the bees, one company in Tucson is on a mission to save as many of them as they can. They took us to secret bee breeding facilities, located deep in the desert.
  
As soon as Greg Denker with American Bee Control started shaking the roof rafter, we heard the loud hum of tens of thousands of African killer bees: ornery bees ready to attack.

The hive was destroyed after a few hours. It was cut up into chunks of honeycomb, some given to the homeowner to enjoy. 

Denker sucked most of the bees up into the green bee machine, their new temporary home.

"We don't use poison.  We take the bees away," Denker said.

The final destination is an undisclosed location out in the Sonoran desert, where there are more than a dozen wooden box hives that are home to a million bees.

"This is one of several sites that we have," Denker said. "We bring the bees from Tucson to live in comfort here."

"Bees are dying off all over the country. Here we got probably the healthiest bees in the whole continent. For some reaso, they hybridize here in Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Cochise Counties."

"This is where they live and grow strong and we can do some selective breeding here," Denker said.

Breeding that's crucial for agriculture.

"They say three out of every ten bites of food that Americans eat comes from bees."

"I have respect for bees," Denker said. "There have been a number of times I wondered if I would make it."

And they will swarm and kill to protect their hive, but the real death would be the loss of your favorite fruits and vegetables, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Bees help pollinate more than 100 crops, everything from apples, to green beans, zucchini.. and nuts. If these bees keep dying at the current rate, officials predict a food disaster, and that would really sting.

From killer bees to champion bees, the goal of this bee breeding operation is to come up with a super bee that can help farmers and stop the decline of the bee population in the country."

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Steve Bannon accepts award, draws protest in Tucson

    Steve Bannon accepts award, draws protest in Tucson

    Saturday, November 18 2017 11:17 PM EST2017-11-19 04:17:02 GMT
    Bannon accepted the award Saturday night from the Brian Terry Foundation (Source: Tucson News Now).Bannon accepted the award Saturday night from the Brian Terry Foundation (Source: Tucson News Now).

    A former member of President Trump’s Administration, Steve Bannon, was in Tucson on Saturday night to receive an award. But many Tucsonans stood in opposition to Bannon’s visit because of his views and ties to Breitbart News, a conservative network. Steve Bannon was the keynote speaker at the Brian Terry Foundation Courage Awards and Benefit Dinner at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort.

    A former member of President Trump’s Administration, Steve Bannon, was in Tucson on Saturday night to receive an award. But many Tucsonans stood in opposition to Bannon’s visit because of his views and ties to Breitbart News, a conservative network.

  • BEAR DOWN: Oregon too much for Wildcats in 48-28 loss

    BEAR DOWN: Oregon too much for Wildcats in 48-28 loss

    Saturday, November 18 2017 10:35 PM EST2017-11-19 03:35:58 GMT

    The Ducks rolled up 588 yards in beating the Wildcats by 20 points.

    The Ducks rolled up 588 yards in beating the Wildcats by 20 points.

  • Southside church celebrates former pastor, co-founder of sanctuary movement

    Southside church celebrates former pastor, co-founder of sanctuary movement

    Saturday, November 18 2017 10:09 PM EST2017-11-19 03:09:11 GMT
    Fife takes a walk through the church campus Friday, a day before the big celebration (Source: Tucson News Now).Fife takes a walk through the church campus Friday, a day before the big celebration (Source: Tucson News Now).

    Saturday night the congregation at Southside Presbyterian Church celebrated 50 years since Reverend John Fife. Now retired, Fife continues to stay active with the church and the organization No More Deaths, which helps immigrants trekking through the Sonoran Desert after they've crossed the border illegally.

    Saturday night the congregation at Southside Presbyterian Church celebrated 50 years since Reverend John Fife. Now retired, Fife continues to stay active with the church and the organization No More Deaths, which helps immigrants trekking through the Sonoran Desert after they've crossed the border illegally.

Powered by Frankly