Beekeepers hoping for dry weather
With summer just around the corner, many people are already wishing for dryer weather, especially beekeepers. Our Elyse Mickalonis talked to one beekeeper in the Southern Tier who says last year’s rainy days hurt honey production and he’s hoping for better weather this year.
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ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Last year wasn’t a very good year for collecting honey on M&S farm.
“In a perfect world it would rain at night and be sunny during the day. We don’t live there though,” said Tim Gargash, M&S Bee Farm.
Beekeeper Tim Gargash says he was only able to collect 20 pounds of honey last year. He normally collects as much as 120 pounds per hive. He says the weather had a lot to do with that.
“If it’s too dry with no rain they’ll go up to the flowers, but there won’t be anything for them. If there’s too much rain, the pollen will be knocked off the flowers,” said Gargash.
Gargash is hoping the weather will behave this year, but the cold snap that affected many plants earlier this year also affected bees.
“Lilacs got burned out because of the frost and they’re not producing as many flowers,” said Gargash.
The future of the insect that has such a crucial role in the production of honey also has beekeepers worried. Many fear that the insect could become extinct from things such as mites, viruses, and humans. But, if you notice a lot of bees around right now that's because it's swarming season. Gargash says there’s no need to be scared.
“Bees are naturally in a tree, the cavity is only so big. The population in the hive exceeds that cavity and that’s why they take off,” said Gargash.
Beekeepers say if you find a swarm on your property the best thing to do is leave it alone and admire it from a distance. But if you have someone in your family who is allergic and you’re worried, call a beekeeper — do not try to take care of it on your own.
“You’re more likely to get stung by a ground hornets’ nest than getting stung by a swarm,” said Gargash.
Protecting those that create such a sweet snack.
Gargash says he could be collecting honey relatively soon, but the best time to collect honey is in the fall.