Aaron Brink has hives in more than 15 locations in the Tri-Cities. He provides pollination services all over the country, raises queen bees, and produces varietal honey. He grew up on a farm in Oklahoma and always wanted to be a part of agriculture.
"It's just amazing to be able to see how the bees live, and what they can also do for our landscape, our environment, and for our farmers," said Brink.
The bees travel California to pollinate almonds, avocados, citrus, cherries, and apples. Then, they travel to Oregon to pollinate clover and alfalfa. Finally, they pollinate apples, cherries, apricots, nectarines, sunflowers, and pumpkins in Washington. Aaron says pollination can create about a 40 percent increase in overall yield for farmers.
"Everything that we all love and has wonderful color and flavor at the store, whether it be bell peppers to your raspberries and strawberries or your avocados or tomatoes. All of those are pollinated by your honey bees," said Brink.
Native pollinators such as bumblebees and leaf cutter bee populations declined 70 percent over last 20 years, and honeybees are dying at rate of 40 percent every year. Aaron says there are three main reasons for this.
"We have a pesticide issues, we have actual viruses and diseases the honey bees can get, and then we have habitat loss, and all of those three really form this perfect storm that's very detrimental to our honey bees and very detrimental to our native pollinators because it affects all of them," said Brink.
During this time of year, he is making sure the honeybees are healthy and will be strong for the start of next season in California come February.