Drummond speaks with WABI about beekeeping

Frank Drummond, a professor of insect ecology at the University of Maine and the insect pest management and blueberry extension pollination specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed by WABI (Channel 5) for a two-part series on beekeeping in Maine. The popularity of beekeeping is increasing — there are over 1,000 beekeepers in Maine, and the number of registered hives doubled between 2007 and 2011, WABI reported. Drummond has been involved in beekeeping for over 50 years and has been researching bees for decades. According to Drummond, “learning from others who are more experienced is the best way,” which he says can be accomplished through joining a local county club chapter of the Maine State Beekeepers Association. Drummond also discussed with WABI how Maine imports bees to meet the demand for pollination for agricultural industries, especially blueberries. But bee populations are suffering heavy losses — up to 50 percent last year. By using the lowest dose of plant-based pesticides to keep parasitic mites and other pests away, bees can be protected, WABI reported.