Struggling Bees. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.
The long, cool, wet spring has taken its toll not only on the fruit trees but on the tiny insects that help pollinate that fruit. Jerry Tate, President of the Washington Beekeepers Association says the bees have had a tough time.
TATE: We've had a lot of issues. We're practically still feeding even though the weather has started to turn a little warmer, there's been a significant amount of lack of build up in the bees because instead of continuing to grow through the spring they have actually backed off.
Bees require the food from pollen and nectar to grow and the weather held that production off.
TATE: We've had a few people who are having starvation issues, losing their bees to starvation. The losses to starvation have been fairly small. I had one guy tell me right now his food bill to keep his bees alive has exceeded all the money he made out of pollination in Oregon and Washington.
Not only has pollination been affected but the production of honey has been severely curtailed.
TATE: We're out checking right now. In a lot of cases guys are taking 2 kind of scrawny hives and combining them together to give the hive more bee strength. About 4 to 5 weeks ago we practically had bees shutting down, the queen stopped laying because there just wasn't anything coming in and it rained day after day after day. Now they've turned back on about 2 weeks ago.
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.