When it comes to the amount of bees they lost, it was an average winter for a local beekeeping operation. Wehr Honey Farm in West Chester saw roughly 15% of their population die over the winter. Owner Ron Wehr says mites are the main cause of death.
The cold start to spring has also delayed foraging, meaning the 75 gallons of honey they had in reserve for their 300 colonies wasn’t enough. When that runs out they feed the bees corn syrup until they start producing honey. Wehr says each colony holds about 4,000 bees during the winter months.