Beehives on a Cliff Wall Are Protected from Predators and Pesticides

Beehives on a Cliff Wall Are Protected from Predators and Pesticides

A high mountain in China turns into a safe haven for the declining insects

A beekeeper checks beehives on the cliff in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve in central China’s province of Hubei on April 27, 2015. Credit: Jie Zhao Getty Images 

Bees do not usually buzz around wooden hives 4,000 feet above sea level, but keepers have placed about 700 bee colonies at that height on the side of a mountain in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve in China’s Hubei Province. Asian honeybee populations have been shrinking. On the high cliff wall, however, they are safe from predators and other hazards, such as pesticides. The hive boxes also attract wild bees to come and settle. The keepers scale the cliff using rope ladders to check on the hives and collect the honey.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

Josh Fischman

is a senior editor at Scientific American, covering biology, chemistry, and earth science. He has written and edited about science and health for Discover, Science, Earth, and U.S. News.

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