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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Going Green: The buzz about bees

Bees play an important role in food production and the economy.

Bees play an important role in food production and the economy. Not only is the colony of the honeybee fascinating, but bees can also provide incredible health benefits.

Neurologist and Bee Keeper Leo d’Ambrosio is passionate about bees.

"Bees are very hard workers. They are out from early morning until 5 or 6 in the evening. Gathering pollen, gathering nectar," according to d’Ambrosio. "There are probably, at this point, about 30 thousand bees. And you can see here, they are capping the honey. They have to build wax honeycomb for the queen to lay her eggs and for them to deposit the honey and pollen."


A bee colony is a biological living unit of tens of thousands of workers, drones and just one queen.


According to d’Ambrosio, "there are also other bees that are called nurse bees and their job is to take care of the eggs and larvae. There is even such a thing as a mortuary bee. When a bee dies, they remove those bees from the hive. There are guard bees that guard the entrance of the hive. They are amazing creatures."


It’s like bees have their own town and they know what their jobs are.

"They are considered a super organism. Because they cannot function individually. The queen can’t even feed herself. She has to be fed by her helpers," said d’Ambrosio.


A lot of people are terrified of bees but they are so important to our environment for things like including pollination and creating honey.

"The bee population has been dropping dramatically. And they are very important pollinators. One third of our food is dependent upon pollinators", said d’Ambrosio.

One bi-product from a bee colony is honey. The honey harvested from a hive is raw. It’s unprocessed and healthy and it can be helpful to allergy sufferers.


"So, someone who has a problem with allergies or asthma, eating a tea spoon of honey everyday is considered beneficial because it desensitizes you to the local pollens," said d’Ambrosio.


You can support the bee population by building your own bee hive or shopping for honey at local farmers markets.

There are local bee keepers that can give advice and teach you how to become a bee keeper.

For more information on building your own bee hive, click here.