(Host) Vermont’s bee colonies have made it through the winter in good form. State Apiculturist Steve Parise says in his conversations with beekeepers and inspections, there was a wide range in the number of losses reported, but most apiaries were happy with the condition of their bees.
Parise says this is a change from last winter when as many as one-third of the colonies died over the winter. But Parise says Colony Collapse Disorder – or CCD – still has not been identified in Vermont.
Mike Palmer is the President of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, and he runs an 800 hive apiary in the northeastern part of the state. Palmer says the die-off he’s seen can be attributed to the usual suspects:
(Palmer) "My bees are looking very good in Vermont, and I know other beekeepers that I’ve talked to and no one is seeing CCD, we’re seeing bees that are dying from the usual causes, varroa mites, maybe naseema disease and starvation, and queen failure, and those are the traditional ones, in the last two decades."
(Host) Parise says colony collapse disorder continues to be a problem nationwide, and research is still ongoing into the causes. It’s especially been identified in colonies that go to California to pollinate almonds.
Parise says there are hives in Vermont that went to California, but the hives those hives seem to be very strong.
Palmer says most of the migratory pollinators in Vermont are used for apples:
(Palmer) "Most of the pollinators here, if they pollinate, it’s apples, it’s into a local apples orchard and then back home after the petals fall."
(Host) And Palmer says honey prices are expected to be especially strong this year, following a worldwide shortage.