Saranac's Land Trust to sponsor first annual Bee-Fest

A limited number of tickets to the Sunday afternoon concert are being sold for $20. Proceeds will be used to continue to develop the bee population on the Eco Farm. They are hoping to add several more hives in the near future.

The new focus on bees is due to the recently declining International bee population. Most of the decline is due to a phenomenon that scientists have termed "Colony Collapse Disorder", or CCD. In this disorder the worker bees are unable to relocate their hive. Without the worker bees the hive collapses. The queen and larva that depend on the worker bees for their sustenance die. There are several theories about the origin of this disorder but the cause of CCD is not yet known.

An additional problem facing the bees is infestations of virulent mites which attack their digestive system. According to Damian, the declining health of honey bees should be a red flag. "The health of the honey bee is an indicator of the health of our environment," he pointed out.

He and Monica have devoted themselves to the cause of the honey bees. Since most fruits, nuts and vegetables depend on pollinators to reproduce, reversing the decline in the bee population is imperative to maintaining an ample and varied food supply. "Studies are showing that organic farms have healthier bees," Damian said.

Raising public awareness and educating the community about the bee crisis will be the focus of the New Land Trust's First Annual Bee Fest. Tickets to the Sunday afternoon concert can be purchased at the North Country Food Coop in downtown Plattsburgh, at Dick's Liquor Store in Dannemora, or at The New Land Trust on the Plumadore Rd. in Saranac.

To learn more about The New Land Trust, their educational programs, ecological projects, and all they have to offer their members and the larger community, you can visit their website at www.newlandtrust.org .

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