In Southern Arizona, Africanized bees are on the rise while the European honey bee population is declining.
Bee Keeper John Mathis has a goal of growing an Italian bee yard along the San Pedro River. Right now, he currently has 10 hives but has a goal of 100.
Mathis wants to create a team that can continuously capture, re-queen, and relocate Africanized and feral hives.
"By bringing Italian bees to Arizona it will increase their presence in the area and increase their numbers," says Mathis.
Mathis says, Italian bees are more gentle. "easier to handle and agricultural wise you can get in and work with them, manipulate them more easy than your wild Africanized bees."
Eventually, Mathis wants to ship off the bees to local farms.
Mathis offers beekeeping classes, no kill hive removal, advice, and hive assistance.
On ways to get involved and stay updated on the growth of the bee yard visit the official Facebook page, Legacy HoneyBee Conservation - Sierra Vista.
Mathis wants to remind people to not kill the bees, "if there's a swarm call you local bee keeper that can come and remove the bees because they're decreasing. Without our bees, we don't exist."