Tanger Outlets, in the heart of Atlantic City’s retail district, is trying to help save New Jersey’s decimated bee population by installing hives on the roof of the mall.

The honey bee, which is New Jersey’s official state bug, has seen a dramatic reduction in numbers and New Jersey has been particularly hard hit, and that’s cause for concern.

According to an article on NorthJersey.com in 2017, bees pollinate over $200 million worth of crops in the state, including cranberries, blueberries, and cucumbers. Beekeeping is itself a $7 million industry in the state.

The bees have been stricken with a mysterious colony collapse disorder that has seen the loss of up to 50 percent of their population annually, and it’s going on nationwide. That has resulted in a concerted effort to help grow their numbers.

At the Tanger Outlets, they have installed a colony of 50,000 bees on the roof and will be holding educational workshops for the public. You can also follow the colony on social media to see its progress.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, Tanger joins the Ocean Medical Center is establishing bee colonies to help save them.

In case you’re worried about getting stung, don’t be: They are using a breed of bee that is very docile and leaves humans alone.

They estimate that the bees will cover about a 3-mile radius for pollination. Of course, they will also produce honey, which will be shared with the community.

The project is being overseen by Alveole, an international social beekeeping company that focuses on bringing beekeeping to urban areas.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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