TIFTON, GA (WALB) - Honey bees play a critical role in our lives, but their survival is threatened by a number of factors.
Lorie Marchant has more than a handful of hives in her own backyard, giving homes to the vital insects.
A Facebook video shows a swarm of bees that took over a tree at the Tift area YMCA, that's when beekeeper Lorie Marchant was called in to take them home.
"It's just important not to kill the bees because they pollinate up to 80 percent of our agricultural crops and without them, we would lose our food supply," said Marchant.
Marchant said that she is one of the only people in the area who will safely take a swarm of thousands of bees following their queen and relocate them.
She asks people to call her before they spray, because she has a place for them in her own backyard.
"A lot of these, they don't have a honey super on top because I just collected these swarms this year," said Marchant.
Marchant uses the creatures' honey, but said she's doing this to provide refuge to the threatened population.
From the environment to pests and people, Marchant said that the honey bee population is at risk.
But the most mysterious issue affecting hives is colony collapse disorder, where worker bees just vanish.
"The queen may be left and just a few very young bees, but thousands of bees, the workers, are just gone. There is no evidence of dead bees on the ground. We don't know what's going on."
But what Marchant does know, is that when she packs up her truck to collect a swarm, it's headed to a caring home.
Marchant said people don't have to be a beekeeper to help the bugs stay alive. They can plant flowers or support others helping.
For more information about Marchant or to contact her, visit her website.