Wisconsin bees dying due to insecticides, global warming and a mite, experts say

Wisconsin bees dying due to insecticides, global warming and a mite, experts say

The honeybees of Denise Palkovich have settled at her Fond du Lac home for summer, but it’s unclear whether they will survive till next season.

Palkovich is concerned for them as previous spring and winter all of her seven hives died prior to beekeeping season, the scenario he hasn’t ever seen in her more than a decade of raising bees.

The previous season, nearly 60% of Wisconsin honeybees died off during the winter, a rate that was 4 times higher than the one considered acceptable. In six of the past seven seasons, bee die-off rates have climbed over 30%. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, 44% of bees died off across the nation this season.

As per experts, the die off is an outcome of using insecticides, global warming and a mite. With the fall in the number of honeybees in Wisconsin, the beekeepers should import new hives from throughout the country.

In the state, bees aren’t just significant for honey and other products, but they also pollinate the crops in Wisconsin such as tomatoes, nuts and fruits.

Palkovich is the owner of D’s Bees, which sells honey, beeswax candles and many other goods being produced by her seven hives during a season. She first started raising bees for the pollination of her garden, spanning over her yard at home near Peebles.

Palkovich said, “My goal is to just have enough money to support my habit (of beekeeping). I'll keep beekeeping for as long as I'm able to”.

According to Palkovich and other Wisconsin beekeepers, a pervasive insect is the main contributor to hive losses.

In Wisconsin and surrounding areas, the Varroa mite, a parasite, has fixed itself into almost all the hives. Many diseases are being spread by the mite that can clear out entire colonies and is considered the chief killer of honeybees, as per the USDA data.