"When I came out and saw my loss, I mean you literally just cry."
"It's devastating," Mike Swett of Squaw Creek Honey told local Iowa station KCCI. "When I came out and saw my loss, I mean you literally just cry."
Iowa Department of Agriculture bee researcher Andrew Joseph says the losses could be as high as 70 percent, compared to an average winter loss of up to 20 percent.
The high losses, he explains, were the result of not just the frigid temperatures on their own but of the multiple threats bees were already facing that left them more vulnerable.
Alison Sullivan reports:
Iowa Department of Agriculture bee researcher Andrew Joseph characterized the situation as a “death by a thousand paper cuts” as the honey bee population has faced an environment lacking in diversity, pesticide problems, colony collapse and parasites such as varroa mites, since the 1990s. [...]
“It’s not that bees can’t handle a cold winter or snow … (but) when you go into winter with those types of bees and then you’re confronted with the harshness of this season, they don’t make it through to spring time,” Joseph said.Read More