Madison
25° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Beekeepers losing bees, income

Published On: May 15 2013 02:54:45 PM CDT
Bees
REESEVILLE, Wis. -

Wisconsin beekeepers are looking for answers after losing thousands of bees and even more money.

Dean Lapp, a beekeeper in Reeseville, lost about half of his 1,000 honeybee colonies this year alone. Each colony can hold up to around 20,000 honeybees.

"None of us are bulletproof with this. You can have five colonies and lose all five. You can have a thousand colonies and lose all 1,000," said Lapp.

He estimates the total loss is between $190,000 and $200,000.

Some loss is expected each year but Lapp said not like this. The idea of colony collapse disorder has been thrown around but extension entomologist Phil Pelliterri at the UW-Madison said there's more.

"If you take a step back and look at the Wisconsin winter we don't think this was collapse disorder. It's various other factors but bottom line it was not a good winter for bees," said Pelliterri.

He added mites, mites' developing resistance to medicines, viruses and winter weather are all important factors to consider; and it could take years to find out what is killing the honeybees.

Lapp said he believes pesticides the bees pick up are to blame. He also said the honeybee problem is affecting other farmers who use them to pollinate plants, including almonds, cucumbers and cranberries.

Advertisement
  • Time for Kids - Explore the Outdoors

    Dean Clinic and WISC-TV3 are focusing on a year-long campaign to get kids off their electronics and into the outdoors.

  • Learn more about WISC-TV

    Meet the News 3 staff, learn about our newscasts, search our job postings and find out how to contact us.

  • Chopper in Janesville

    Chopper in Janesville

    Your pet photos

    Email us a picture of you and your pet and we'll use it in out Pet Walk segment which airs every weekday morning at 6:40. Include your name, your pet's name and where you're from. Email to petwalk@wisctv.com.

Advertisement