Nova Scotia

Cold spring hinders honey production

Honey production in Nova Scotia is down because of the cold and wet weather this past spring.

Need steady warm weather

Honey production in Nova Scotia is down because of the cold and wet weather this past spring.

Cape Breton beekeeper Al Paruch said that last year he harvested 2,000 pounds of honey, but he'll be happy to half that much this year.

He said he's usually harvesting honey by mid-July, but that won't happen this year.

"This time last year, we had honey supers that were full and we were extracting in mid-July. I don't expect an extraction of honey this year until at best late August, probably September at the rate things are going, but who's to say," Paruch said.

The cold weather makes the bees lethargic, he said, and they don't want to leave their hives.

"Problem is, when it's cold, they need honey for energy, so honey that they've already capped this year in cold temperatures, they're consuming. So, they're consuming honey they'd normally save for the winter season," Paruch said.

He still has hope that the weather will co-operate.

"Get rid of the rain, the wind and the cold — they're the three governing factors.  We just need to have good temperatures for them [bees] to get out, and if they don't get out of the house, they're like children, they're not happy," Paruch said.

He said it will take some steady warm weather to entice the bees to go foraging for wildflowers.

"It's liable to turn around and we'll have a great season," Paruch said. "We'll keep our fingers crossed anyway."

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