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This is how your campaign yard sign can help the bees

Don't throw them out, beekeepers can use them in a number of ways to protect their hives.

SARASOTA, Fla. — If you took a drive anywhere in October and early November, it was hard to miss all those political signs in yards and along roads. 

Now, they are probably sitting in a garage somewhere just waiting to be tossed in the trash. Don't! Those signs can be repurposed to help out our local honeybee population.

Beekeepers will tell you they face many challenges keeping the hives healthy, especially when it's cold. 

Alma Johnson is the head beekeeper at the Sarasota Honey Company. She says those campaign signs are the same measurements as the screen bottom of the hive and can help keep the bees warm. 

"We need to be able to protect the baby bees and the hive has to stay a constant 98 degrees or more, otherwise the bees have to stay in the hive to try to keep the babies warm rather than going out to forage to actually look for food," Johnson said. 

The signs can also be cut up and used to protect the hive from invasive pests without using harsh pesticides or chemicals. 

"By having the bottom of the screens sealed, we're then able to treat our beehives with essential oils so the smell of the oils are not going to dissipate out the bottom," Johnson said. 

And they've gotten so many signs, the Sarasota Honey Company is sharing the love with other beekeepers. 

"The good news is we are not only getting enough to help our bees, but we are getting hobby beekeepers coming to the stores asking for these signs and asking for knowledge as to how we do this, what are these beekeeping hacks."

If you have some signs you'd like to drop off, please contact the Sarasota Honey Company at 941-726-8755. 

RELATED: US honeybees are doing better after bad year, survey shows

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