Ohio Beekeepers are Encouraged to Feed Their Bees to Ensure Survival Over the Winter
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The U.S. summer drought means that beekeepers need to be extra vigilant this winter to ensure that bees are properly fed in order to survive.
The worst drought in half a century that hit the U.S. stretching from Ohio west all the way to California, has Ohio’s Department of Agriculture on high alert for bee colonies. Ohio government officials have said that food shortages are often linked to Queen Bees having slower egg production – simply because there’s a lack of nectar to make honey and reduced pollen production because of the drought.
These conditions have prompted the Ohio Department of Ag to urge beekeepers to make sure their bees are fed to survive the winter months. Honey and pollen are crucial to bee colonies for them to feed bee larvae. However, this winter beekeepers may have to ensure that bees have access to fondant or sugar syrup to ensure bee larvae has enough to feed from.
The agriculture department says there are ways to tell if bees need to be fed. One way is that if the back of the hive is easily lifted, than it’s likely that the bees will need to be fed over the winter. However, the department also warns to proceed with caution with examining the hives – do not open the hives when temperatures fall below 60 degrees as it hurt the bees, putting them at risk of death.