Ohio beekeepers are reporting a loss of up to 75 percent of their hives.
It’s not just a problem this year though. It actually started back in 2008 due to colony collapse disorder. The exact reasoning for the disorder hasn’t been determined, but the other factor aiding in this year’s loss is the prolonged period of colder weather. Bees haven’t been able to keep the honey at 100 degrees in order to eat it.
"There might be honey in the hive, but they can’t get to it and warm it up. In essence, they starve to death even though they’re surrounded by food, " says local Farm State Agency Executive Director, William Huston.
Farmers are extremely concerned about this loss because most of the food you eat needs to be pollinated by bees to grow. It’s a chain reaction that could cost farmers millions of dollars, but the farm service agency for Muskingum and Morgan counties is offering a program it’s hoping will help farmers.
"What they need to do is show how many hives they had at the beginning of each of those years or at the fall and how many they lost during the winter. If they were weather-related losses or colony collapse disorder, they can receive about 60 dollars a hive, " says Huston.
Huston says farmers can use that money to buy bees and hopefully re-build these hives. The program is available through May 5th.