Winter hands Ontario beekeepers ‘unsustainable losses’

Bad news not only for beekeepers, but for vegetable and fruit growers who depend on bees for pollination.

A survey of almost 900 Ontario beekeepers indicated that 70 per cent suffered unsustainable losses.

More than 40 per cent said the recent long, cold winter that extended into spring was the main reason for the heavy losses of colonies.

Although Ontario has the largest number of beekeepers in Canada, beekeepers across the country are expressing concern. Alberta and Quebec beekeepers have experienced noticeable losses.

Thanks to Glenn Cuthbert for this link

12 thoughts on “Winter hands Ontario beekeepers ‘unsustainable losses’”

  1. Lots of reasons for die offs, but over harvesting the honey is one cause. It can be tricky in the winter to supplement the hive if you’ve taken too much. However beekeepers will not buy into the hype and will take less honey and allow the bees to make it through the winter easier.

    I fear this is the start of a bigger problem. People gearing up for more mild winters and longer growing seasons getting destroyed due to cooling…

  2. Wow! Thank God for global warming or it would have been worse! Do I really have to say /sarc?

  3. The coming years will wipe the smiles off many global warming faces. It’ll be like Germany after WW2 when not a single Nazi Party members could be found. The cry no doubt will be “I was just following orders”.

  4. By the way, I find the term “unsustainable losses” interesting. I really would like to know what that projects to.

  5. Long lasting winter weather well into the spring is harsh on the Honey Bees. Because the bee’s need warmer weather to make honey. An ice age would kill nearly all of them unless we find ways to save them from long lasting Very cold temps.

  6. you can only supplement feed for so long before the bees become ill they need the natural soil bacterias and the enzymes in fresh nectar for their own gut health. i know it sounds funny
    but there is such a thing as a “skinny bee”
    we see it in aus when theyre overworked on almond pollination and werent left enough honey for themselves.
    almond blossom produces little nectar and mostly pollen, so the bees need to be fat n fit before they go into orchards and have enough honey to keep the queen going ,+ the brood and the poor workers.

  7. David – Re: feeling cold when it’s hot.
    That must be why you get cold chills when you have a fever. Now I understand!
    It is said that if the bees die, then the flowers won’t be pollinated and the harvest will suffer, then we all starve, so we’re all doomed. The reality is exactly the opposite – isn’t that always the case these days – that when the flowers don’t bloom, all the insects die of starvation. Only the later insects survive eating from the later flowering plants. So how about farmers sowing – on ‘set-aside’ land – very hardy, early flowering plants so the early bees and other insects get to feed and survive? We are supposed to be the smartest and most capable animals on the planet, so lets see some of that put to good use, instead of harping on about impossible future scenario’s such as human caused, runaway, global warming.

  8. Bill, when I read your very sensible suggestion, I believed there might be hope for the human race. I pray that more people, especially farmers, read your comment and act on it.

  9. Wasn’t it a case of the French not being flexible enough to change their crops from Wheat to Potatoes that is considered to be one of the underlying cause of the French people going hungry and then that morphing into the French Revolution.
    Why do we in our arrogance think that we are so modern that it won’t happen to us.
    If food becomes short, due to lack of bees/pollination, cold and crops presently grown and unwilling to adapt to a different crop, one maybe more suitable for colder weather, sound familiar.

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