RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As you sit down to eat tonight, look at your plate. A third of all the food we eat is made possible because of bees.
But in 2016, we lost almost half of the managed beehives. One local family's passion is to reverse this trend.
In the Guthrow household, bees are a family affair.
Scott Guthrow explains, "I got tired of buying honey for $15 for this little bottle, and my wife seems to love honey. She thinks it's the cure-all for everything."
In three years, he's gone from four hives to almost 20. Hundreds of thousands of honey bees fly five miles away to forage and collect, then pack it away - creating that fresh, local honey.
He says, "Pollination is a big part of life. Without it, there's no crops."
For many years, bees have seen a significant die-off: pesticides, loss of habitat, climate shifts and disease all playing a role. Something the Guthrows understand well. Their goal is to grow their bee population, and they are willing to come to you to get them.
Scott adds, "We have one that was a cutout that we recovered, which is a pretty strong hive. The queen is successfully growing bees. There's probably 30,000 to 40,000 bees in there."
Some of his hives came from swarms outside. Others have been taken out of people's homes. It's a service he offers at no charge. His clients don't want the bees dead - they just want them removed.
Where does he find them? "The common place is the soffit, under the siding. Some place that they have pretty easy access and they're protected."
Scott removes the hive along with the queen and relocates them to safety in one of his hives.
"Those bees will turn into another 10,000...to 15,000...to 50,000...to 100,000-bee colony, and they'll continue to split and continue to grow." Scott says.
His bee relocation is mutually beneficial. The homeowner is rid of their problem for no money out-of-pocket, and Scott can continue his plight to save our honey bees.
"Beekeeping's cool." Scott says with a smile.
Scott's seen some scenarios where it would be cost-prohibitive for the homeowners to use his service, but he works with them to find the easiest remedy.
Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved