Ned Yost on saving bees: A wildlife ‘conservationist’ who can ‘kill with the best of ‘em’

Ned Yost is a friend of the bees.

This was established Tuesday, when the Royals’ game against the Colorado Rockies was momentarily delayed by a swarm of bees inside Surprise Stadium. Yost and a retired beekeeper helped dispose of the bees without killing them, and a day later, Yost explained his inclination for wildlife conservation.

“It’s just important for the environment,” said Yost, who spends offseasons at his farm in rural Georgia. “I saw a study a couple years ago where the honey bee was declining and they cannot figure out why. And I started looking at it and studying it, the importance of what they do, in terms of pollination with all the crops. Especially the fruit trees and stuff like that. They’re vital to the environment.

“To just arbitrarily kill a bunch of bees makes zero sense to me. I’m not like that with a lot of stuff, right. But I’m a conservationist. I love conservation. I love the aspect of wildlife, fish, I love that stuff. But there’s things that you have to do.

One of those things: Deer hunting.

Yost said he and good friend Jeff Foxworthy, who lives near him in Georgia, will kill close to 150 deer on their farms each hunting season.

“People ask: How can you deer hunt?” Yost said. “Well, you got to deer hunt to control the population. If you don’t control the population, then they’re all gonna starve. That’s why we have hunting seasons, to try to maintain a balance from the wildlife and the food that they have to eat.

“I mean, I can kill with the best of ’em. But only if it makes sense. We’ll kill over 150 deer a year between my farm and Jeff’s farm. But all that meat goes to people. It feeds people. We’ll have some for ourselves. But we give it to churches, people that need it.”