The situation of bee hives in the United States has become critical in the past few years. Denise Palkovich, a beekeeper in Fond du Lac, fears that her hives will not last until next season.
Moreover, she confessed that never in her 12 years of raising bees has she lost all of her hives during winter and spring before beekeeping season. Moreover, throughout the last season, around 60 percent of Wisconsin honeybees died during winter, at a four times faster and higher rate than beekeepers consider to be decent.
In addition to this, 44 percent of the bees in the U.S. died this season, according to the data from U.S. Department of Agriculture. Experts believe that the cause of such a massive decline in bees population is due to mite, insecticides and climate change.
Beekeepers are now forced to import new bee hives from other parts of the country to help the survival of the bees’ population in Wisconsin. Bees play a crucial role in the balance of the state’s ecosystem as they pollinate fruits, nuts, tomatoes and other crops throughout Wisconsin. Furthermore, they support the economy of Wisconsin thanks to honey and other products made from it.
Palkovich has a shop, called D’s Bees, in which she sells beeswax candles, honey and many other honey goods that her seven hives, each named after a Greek goddess, provides after a season. She underlines that her goal is to have enough money to maintain her small business, consisting of beekeeping.
The latest investigation has established that a parasite, known as the Varroa mite, is responsible for infesting every bee hive in Wisconsin and other places. Worse, this mite carries a disease that can kill entire colonies of honeybees, and is regarded as the primary bee killer in the United States, according to the data from USDA.
Another bee enemy consists of insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, used in almost every corn field. Besides killing dangerous insects, they also kill bees that come to pollinate the fields.
According to Gerard Schubert, president of the East Central Wisconsin Beekeepers Association, Wisconsin still has a chance of restoring the bee hives. Plus, even if the import of honeybees represents a valuable asset in saving the bees’ population it is fortunately not the only source on which beekeepers rely.