Picture: From Planet Bee
Vernon’s Planet Bee is working to keep up with deaths of what are now thousands bees over the last couple of weeks.
Ed Nowek says it hasn’t been this bad for several years.
“Last two weeks it seemed like I’d sweep up the bees one day and by the next day you know even in the afternoon one or two days later there was hundreds more dead bees laying around in there. I think, I’m sure it’s more than just natural causes, eh.”
He suspects it’s a type of pesticide, a neo- nicatoid, used to treat seeds that bees pick up when they’re out in the community.
“At least that’s what it seems like and I think just over the years of treatment, treating the bees for them with them and the mite treatments and stuff, it’s kind of broke down the immune systems of the bees to where their just not able to tolerate some of these other viruses and that that have been evident.”
Nowek says he’s seen the bees come back to their hives looking disoriented, lying on the ground shivering and shaking.
The deaths mean the population of the hive isn’t building up.
“I know the honey crop is going to be short this year, for sure below average and that because we just don’t have the populations of bees and that, so, I don’t know, we’ll have to probably buy honey from other people and stuff just to meet our own requirements for what we sell in the store.”
Nowek says they have sent a number of dead bees to the Ministry of Agriculture in Abbotsford and hopes to have results back in a week or two.