WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Bees play a huge role in Texoma agriculture, but these extremely high temperatures are creating quite the buzz in local hives.

Bees are like humans – they need a water source and a food source, and without the rain, bees can find themselves in a sticky situation.

“When the flowers are blooming in the spring, that creates the pollen and the nectar sources for the bees, but this year has been very difficult with excessive heat,” Beekeeper Raymond Smith of Diamond S Honey said.

With the excessive heat, most of the flowers and plants bees get their nectar from are dead.

Smith has come up with a way to combat this issue.

“I’ve been feeding my bees, it’s called artificial pollen that you purchase from a bee supplier,” Smith said. “It serves as a substitute for what bees would get when there is a sufficient supply of natural sources.”

This artificial pollen is a high-protein pollen substitute with the vitamin and antioxidants bees need.

Smith also said the high temperatures can cause people to see what seems to be more bees than usual. He even got a call about a swarm at one of the 7/11 gas stations here in Wichita Falls.

“I went up and looked at it, and actually what it was – you know when people throw their coke cans and soda, fountain drink in the trash?” Smith said. “Well, bees are looking for some sort of liquid source, sweet source, sugar. That’s what the bees are actually doing.”

Between the heat and fatal insecticides used by farmers, the fate of bees may be in question.

“I think the world would find out quite soon how important bees are if there was not a sufficient supply to service pollination,” Smith said.

Smith invites anyone interested in learning more about bees and pollination to attend the Red River Bee Keeper Association meeting held once a month.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, August 16. Find more information here.