Not as many honey bees died this year because of the mild winter

Nationally, experts are still concerned about honey production

Bee Population
FILE - In this July 16, 2014, file photo, a bee works on a honeycomb the Gene Brandi Apiary in Los Banos, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – About a third of what we eat relies on pollinators, like bees.

22News Reporter David McKay spoke with beekeepers in Western Mass who said the bees will start being busy next month, and some have already been a bit more active with warmer temperatures.

Honey bees will stay in their hive for the winter huddled together, flexing their wings and eating some of the honey to keep warm.

Some will die off, but production begins in the spring.  Dick Conner, a beekeeper from Northampton, told 22News that the mild winter was beneficial with only about a 15% loss in his bees. The Red Barn Honey Company where Conner works, focuses primarily on honey production, but will do some pollination for farms in the area.

“This area apples fruit production, apples for example rely on insect pollination so most larger fruit producers, apple orchards in this area either bring in honey bees or perhaps honey colonies themselves”.

Nationally there are ongoing concerns about the health of bees and the number of managed colonies.
Scientists are still trying to determine the cause, but at the center of attention is the number of parasitic mites bees carry and the pesticides being used on crops.

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