Beekeepers in most provinces, including Saskatchewan, are looking at higher than normal winter losses.
Provincial apiculturist Geoff Wilson blames the cold weather in March and April.
“When that cold snap happens, it often really stresses the bees at that time, in addition to their other stress of trying to get the colonies going. It can cause some serious problems for bees”
Wilson says there is no firm estimate yet on winter bee losses in Saskatchewan. That will come in a couple of weeks when the results of a beekeeper survey are tabulated.
Wilson says the last two or three years have been quite good for winter bee survival, below the five-year running average.
“One year was under 15 per cent. Last year was a bit higher. We’re probably going to be well above that this year,” Wilson said.
Above normal winter losses are also being reported in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.