Majority of bee colonies see increase in population

Hungry bee on a sunny day
Hungry bee on a sunny day(Stephanie Wise)
Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 4:30 PM EDT
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SCOTTSVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The term “Save the bees,” became popular in recent years to raise awareness of the depleting bee population in the United States. In Scottsville, the colony at the Scottsville Supply Co. is alive and well.

“Colonies this year in Virginia has been faring very well, at least in a strong storm season, which led to an increase in colonies for most beekeepers in the area,” beekeeper Heather Stertzer said.

Even with an increase in a majority of colonies, 40 to 45 percent of colonies in Virginia are experiencing losses.

“Some of it, we simply just don’t know why our bees died,” Stertzer said. “Some of it’s due to a parasite, and some of is due to pesticides.”

There are certain things beekeepers can look for to make sure their colony is healthy and ways everyone can contribute to helping the bee population.

“It’s just staying on top of them make sure they have proper nutrition on the food and are staying healthy away from pests and diseases,” Stertzer said.

If a colony does fail, pinpointing the problem can be very a very difficult task.

“When we lose a colony is doing a postmortem on a bee colony is very difficult sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between starvation, freezing, or a disease factor,” Stertzer explained. “A lot of diseases are internal and we don’t see external symptoms.”

When a colony is full and healthy it can hold over 60,000 bees.

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