State beekeepers report that it was a disastrous winter for honeybees. Ohio ag officials say many beekeepers lost half to 80 percent of their bees which poses a number of problems. ideastream’s Brian Bull reports.
Sheila Dicken, President of the Stark County Beekeeper’s Association, is among those feeling the loss.
“We had about 125 hives going into the winter, and we come out with about 20,” she says.
Dicken’s husband, Jeffrey, inspects beehives for a living. He wonders if there are other factors besides the weather.
“We’re suspecting one or two pesticides, but you….I can’t be sure...are they breeding a weaker bee?” he asks.
In fact, over the last few years the bee population has been rapidly shrinking around the country and other parts of the world and researchers aren’t sure why. They do have a name for the phenomenon though, of abruptly disappearing bees: Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
What experts are pretty sure of is how important bees are for the food supply, including Cynthia Druckenbrod, Vice President of Horticulture at Cleveland Botanical Garden.
“To eat is made possible, because these bees…honey bees of course in particular, are responsible for pollinating plants. We rely heavily on bees for our very survival.”
Bees pollinate more than 70 crops in Ohio, including strawberries, pumpkins, and apples.