Company stung by bee shortage cuts honey-based beverage

Company stung by bee shortage cuts honey-based beverage

BELLEVUE, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - Beekeepers say there is a shrinking population of bees.

It's something that's creating a real problem for Brian Schlueter, who depends on honey for his business.

"When they started raising prices, then it's like, I'm going to have to make a change," said Schlueter.

For more than five years, he's been making mead, a honey-based alcoholic drink.

Now he's pulling the plug on production because he says it's simply become too costly.

"What I've got on the back shelf, we've got pretty much all the cases in house," said Schlueter. "When we sell out that will be the last of Moonstruck mead in Nebraska."

Apiarist Tony Sandoval says it's all cause and effect.

"With a decrease in bees, there's a decrease in honey, an increase honey prices and then those guys who depend on the honey, to make mead or ice cream, those prices go up," said Sandoval.

He says things like pesticides used on crops and changes in weather patterns could be factors.

Schlueter says for him, it's all about cost.

"Unless we're pushing 30, 40 dollars a bottle, it's not going to make sense," said Schlueter.

He says instead, he'll focus on selling pizza, and soon beer, wine and other makes of mead.

Right now, he says he is in the process of getting a new state liquor license, which would allow him to sell other alcoholic beverages at his shop.

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