Recent reports indicate that bee numbers in Ohio are holding steady. But after losing 40-percent of managed bee colonies last winter, new pesticide laws may be in effect to minimize such losses.
Beekeeper Edwin Gehring told Toledo News Now, “…our bee population is sustaining itself after a rough winter, but the bees are not out of the woods yet.”
“According to Gehring, apiarist for Lucas County, the honey bee population has had a lot of trouble in recent months,” writes Toledo News Now. “He says about 40-percent of the population was lost in northwest Ohio this past winter, a lot of that because of the extreme cold.”
“In addition, the verroa mite, a bug that bites the bees and spreads bacteria and viruses, has also played a role in the dwindling population,” the news source says.
The National Honey Report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated that many states had adequate honey amounts for summer harvests.
“Keepers report that a strong hive, namely 15 frames of bees or more- when the honey flow starts and there are plenty of supers for nectar storage; one can average 60 to 80 pounds of honey,” they report for the entire New England region.
“Keepers report that the key to a good honey crop is having strong hives and controlling varroa mites and hive beetles,” says the report.
The report also notes that Ohio beekeepers lost an estimated 40-percent of their hives last year. In an effort to curb these dramatic losses, the EPA has suggested a temporary ban on pesticide use when flowers are in bloom and pollinating.
“According to industry bee source Kim Flottum, with Bee Culture magazine,” writes the report. “The EPA is proposing a federal rule to temporarily create pesticide free zones when certain plants are in bloom around bees that are trucked from farm to farm by professional beekeepers.”
The pesticide ban would only include properties where bees are kept, and not adjacent lands, according to federal reports.