Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
Fri March 14, 2014
Harsh winter kills Iowa honeybees
Honeybees may be among the many victims of this winter's extended stretches of extreme cold. The State Department of Agriculture's Apiarist, Andrew Joseph says annual winter losses among U.S. beekeepers run about 30 percent. Iowa's losses are likely to be 60 to 65 percent. He says bees that are in good shape can survive a very harsh winter, but those that have been weakened by pesticides or parasites are not likely to survive until spring. He says the colder than normal start to December forced the bees in the hives to eat more of the stored honey than they normally would and many simply ran out of food.