E. Tenn beekeepers blame rough winter for disappearing bee popul

E. Tenn beekeepers blame rough winter for disappearing bee population

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A new USDA study shows nationwide, beekeepers lost 23 percent of their honeybees over the last several months. But the statistic here at home is much worse. A new USDA study shows nationwide, beekeepers lost 23 percent of their honeybees over the last several months. But the statistic here at home is much worse.
The Tennessee Beekeepers Association says there's between a 50 to 60 percent loss of bee colonies statewide. The Tennessee Beekeepers Association says there's between a 50 to 60 percent loss of bee colonies statewide.
Jon Gee has two hives packed with bees, he managed to keep both hives running despite a cold winter. Jon Gee has two hives packed with bees, he managed to keep both hives running despite a cold winter.
Corryton, TN - By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

CORRYTON (WATE) - Are bees disappearing from East Tennessee? Already in decline, this year's rough winter has caused even more problems for bee colonies. A new USDA study shows nationwide, beekeepers lost 23 percent of their honeybees over the last several months. But the statistic here at home is much worse.

Jon Gee has two hives packed with bees, he managed to keep both hives running despite a cold winter.

"I had one hive that was weak and one hive that was really strong," he said.

Gee credits his rare success to luck, "That's all I can say, just luck."

Others though weren't so lucky. In fact, the Tennessee Beekeepers Association says there's between a 50 to 60 percent loss of bee colonies statewide.

"I entered the winter with 24 colonies and I came out of winter with only two colonies surviving," said Ben Volk owner of Ben's Bees.

In Volk's case the blasts of cold air, then a warm up was a bad combination causing some of his bees to starve. That's why most beekeepers in the area are rethinking strategies for next winter.

"I'm going to start keeping my bees in sheds that will isolate them from the wind," added Volk.

There is something you can actually do to help boost the bee population, beekeepers say you should plant flowers like Goldenrod, Black eyed Susan, or Primrose.
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