Texas winters have become shorter and warmer in the last fifteen years. Warmer Texas Winters Bad for Honey Bees here is why.
You would think that the warmer the winter the better for Honey bees. They would be able to get out and forage earlier.
Not so in West Central Texas. Most of our early forage for bees will not be in bloom.
The first to bloom around here is the wild plum tree, with warmer winters this plant will not get the chill hours needed to bloom. Along with other fruit trees chill hours are needed to produce blooms.
Honey Bees come out at 50 degrees to forage, no blooms means no nectar to gather. This means the Honey Bees must use their stored food to feed themselves and their young.
On Dec. 25 2017 the Press Hearld reported on this same topic. Read the full report.
Warmer Texas Winters Bad for Honey Bees.
Commercial beekeepers have lost 44% of their colonies during the 2016 - 2017 season. Losses are many fold from Honey Bees diseases and parasites to massive pesticides, fungicides and habitat losses.
Now, we can add warmer winters to the mix that has already taken it's toll on our pollinators. Reports out of South-Central Texas are claiming that honeybees are becoming active in January.
When Honey Bees forage for carbs and cannot find them Honey Bees will eat their stores wearing their bodies out and dying faster, according to Texas A&M Agrilife extension publication.
Everything is pointing to a warmer than normal winter. We are not having long periods of cold weather.
Currently within the beekeeping industry we will not be able to keep up with demand.
Many my think that having enough Honey Bees is important, that thought will change when the shelves are empty.