Michiana bee activity increases with warmer temperatures

NOW: Michiana bee activity increases with warmer temperatures

Many of us have been bothered a bit by the cold first half of May, the 12th coldest on record in South Bend. Our local bees have been no exception, and up until this past weekend, they were few and far bee-tween across Michiana.

Local bee farmers say while pollination in spots is a bit questionable, Michiana's bees survived the cold just fine.

“That cold snap we had in April was hard on them, explained Steven Lesniak, the Director of Operations of Peace Bees. “But these little freezes overnight do not really bother them that much. When it warms up to the 50s, 60s they’re out flying and they’re finding resources.”

The health of these insects is so important to gardeners and fruit farmers as well, as they are one of the most effective pollinators out there.

Many crops like apples, strawberries, blueberries and almonds depend on bees to grow to their fullest potential.

It's a little too early to tell what this year's honey crop will look like.

Lesniak says that they are a little bit behind schedule. Usually, they would have more bee boxes this time of year. However, the bees that are there are bringing in pollen and doing well.

While the weather, specifically the drought, does play a role in the health of the honey crop, it's not always a big player or a consistent one either. Lesniak says it's more about what the flowers do compared to what the sky decides to do.

“It is a problem, in theory, lack of rain, lack of flowers and they need the pollen and the nectar to make honey, Lesniak explained. “But we’ve had some of our best honey crops in drought years, so it’s odd.”

Heavy rain doesn’t look very likely over the next week across Michiana.

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