Keeping beehives thriving on the Suncoast as bee problems persist

Beekeeping on the Suncoast

MYAKKA CITY, Fla. (WWSB) - Bees are a critical link in agricultural production, not only locally but worldwide.

But for years, colonies have been dying off at an alarming rate. On the Suncoast, beekeepers are doing everything they can to keep those colonies alive, and thriving.

“These cells are full of nectar, so they’re stockpiling."

Jim Cutway, beekeper for Myakka’s Gold Apiary, specializes in raw honey. In order to get results he says patience and knowledge is key.

“Depending on the beekeeper, most will replace queens a couple of years because they have a tendency to start falling off production and the amount of eggs that they lay,” he said.

While most of his cells look full, nationwide, he says it’s horrible.

Bee colony deaths began rising more than a decade ago due to colony collapse disorder and other factors like parasites and pests, poor nutrition, and exposure to pesticides.

A survey by Bee Informed Partnership found that beekeepers in the U.S. lost about 40% of their honeybees last year. It’s the greatest reported hive loss yet. In Florida, 32 beekeepers lost more than 40% of their beehives.

One way we can help avoid this problem:

“Do you have a house? What do you put in your yard? Spraying a flower with Roundup, you just exposed the bees to it,” he said.

Want to learn more?

ABC7′S Bill Logan sat down on Monday’s roundtable with Cutway, B. Keith Councell, President of the Bee Keepers Association of South West Florida, and Beau Klassen,Vice President of the Bee Keepers Association of South West Florida:

ABC7 News at 7 Roundtable Discussion - February 24, 2020

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