Tuesday, March 9, 2010


If it isn't enough that our Island honeybee population has apparently been hit badly by bee mites:

Vancouver Island beekeepers are reeling from the worst commercial honeybee die-off in recent memory, with some estimating almost 90 per cent of colonies have been wiped out in the last few months.

Many blame a harmful parasite called varroa mites that has become immune to some pesticides, and fear the shortage of bees could affect spring pollination.

“The amount of bees that have been lost is just phenomenal,” said Sol Nowitz, a veteran commercial beekeeper who breeds bees and produces honey at the Jingle Pot Apiary in Nanaimo. “It’s the biggest catastrophe to kill bees on the Island ever.”

Our Mason bees have started hatching. Here is one here, drying its wings. Why this is so sad is because our weather went from a balmy 18ºC on Saturday to a frigid 2ºC last night. It's COLD. And all those lovely little Mason bees are out in that cold. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will survive this cold snap.

Here's another shot. You can see the mud at the bottom of this bee house, with a bee on the tile in front. It's basking in the warm sun. And now it's cold and wintry out there.


Michelle said...

We're having problems with the honey bees in the UK, too.

Rebecca said...

I'm so sad about the bees, Sheila.


Anonymous said...

Oh no. I hope your little bees were able to keep warm during the cold spell.