LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Honeybees are one of the world’s leading pollinators and honey producers.
The LSU AgCenter reported so far, over 30 hives were lost from Hurricane Laura in Southwest Louisiana.
Nola Ducote, of Sulphur, has 25 hives that all survived the storm.
“It was very nerve wrecking," Ducote said, remembering the sound of the wind toppling trees in her backyard. “We stayed home during the storm and it was very scary during the worse of the storm. Winds were so loud, we could not hear the trees fall, only the ground shake.”
About ten large pine trees snapped and fell.
Ducote spent Wednesday morning preparing by strapping the hives down with ratchet straps to eye bolts on the ground. The morning after the storm, Ducote checked to see if the hives made it.
“I was thankful, I mean I was really concerned that they would, you know, not make it through 100 and probably at least 150 mile an hour wind.”
Honeybees play an important role in the environment, pollinating fruits, vegetables and other crops, which is why Lake Area beekeepers take care so the buzzing species thrive.
Sharron Allured has two hives in Lake Charles.
“Well without honeybees, there are certain food supplies that we would not have,” Allured said. “They really provide a lot of service for flowers, and gardening and actually they keep a lot of extra people out of my backyard. The ones that are scared of beeds."
With minor losses from Hurricane Laura, beekeepers feel lucky and hope to welcome more bees in the future.
“I just find them fascinating, the way their colony is, how they do things, how they make a queen, how they leave, how they split, how they swarm, I love going to getting swarms, it’s a lot of fun," Ducote said.
“As they grow and move up, I can add boxes and I’ll be able to harvest honey," Allured said.
Louisiana law requires beekeepers to register their hives.
The USDA has a program that helps protect beekeepers in case of hive loss due to natural disasters.