Ontario beehives suffered this winter, which is bad news for beekeepers – and the vegetable and fruit growers who depend on their bees
Milton, Ont. – After a long winter, beekeepers in Ontario opened their hives to some bad news.
The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association announced in a statement (“Ontario Beekeepers Experience Overwhelming Losses” on May 14, 2018) that it had surveyed 900 beekeepers and that “seven out of 10 Ontario beekeepers suffered unsustainable losses.”
In addition, one in three of them lost about 70 per cent or more of their colonies.
The losses will also affect the vegetable and fruit growers who depend on the bees for pollination, says the statement.
The association explains that beekeepers experience losses after most winters and will split their hives and add new queens to make new colonies. This helps to recover their losses.
When beekeepers experience a loss of more than 20 per cent, they will need to purchase new queens and bees. Losses of more than 50 per cent of a hive can be “catastrophic.” And that means “colonies will be in recovery mode all summer.”
According to the association, one in four beekeepers have said with these kinds of losses they may not be able to continue in beekeeping.
For more on the survey, click here.