Some Wisconsin Beekeepers are Reporting High Losses of Bees This Winter

The Associated Press reported last week that, “Some Wisconsin beekeepers are reporting high losses of bees this winter because of a parasite that infests hives and kills developing bees.

“Kent Pegorsch, president of the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association, told Wisconsin Public Radio that beekeepers had difficulty controlling varroa mites last year.

“Beekeepers have been losing about half of their hives over the winter for the last five to 10 years, said Liz Meils, the state apiarist for the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.”

The AP article stated that, “‘It’s definitely significant and not really sustainable,’ Meils said. ‘The general consensus among beekeepers is that acceptable winter losses should be around 12 percent, up to 20 percent.’

“Producers can try to prevent loses by having their hives inspected and treated for mites, Meils said. The state has two inspectors from May to October who can inspect hives and give treatment advice, she said.”

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