LOMPOC, Calif. - For Lompoc beekeeper Archie Mitchell, bees are his biggest passion.
"Anything that blooms and bees are attracted to, I will plant that," Mitchell says.
His apiary just outside of Lompoc is sprawling with numerous types of plants as part of his 30 year obsession with the buzzing insects.
"I had a friend who was involved in beekeeping as a commercial beekeeper and I got hooked on beekeeping and I love honey - so if you love honey and you want to help the bees, I mean those are two valid reasons why you should get involved in bees and beekeeping," Mitchell explains.
Mitchell is a part of the Lompoc Valley Beekeepers Association, a group that not only helps remove swarms for free but also spreads the word about beekeeping to get others to help the population.
"Apples, oranges - 1/3 of everything that you eat is a result of pollination," Mitchell says.
One of the most important things you can do to help the bee population is calling a beekeeper instead of an exterminator.
That's just what Lompoc resident Melissa Crouthers did when a swarm formed underneath her water meter.
"That was a little unnerving for others, [but] I didn't really care, I'm not afraid of bees. I was more interested in getting them relocated to someplace where they can live and be bees and not get in harms way," Crouthers explains.
She says within 24 hours the beekeepers were able to remove the bees from her home. She hopes others will consider relocating the bees instead of killing them.
"It's extremely important that these hives get relocated so they can continue to pollinate and do the things bees need to do to keep our environment healthy," Crouthers says.