Keeping Connecticut’s beekeeping tradition buzzing


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Beekeeping is a Connecticut tradition, and has been for more than a hundred years. With over 7,000 bee colonies in our state, there is a lot that goes into taking care of them, the right way.

The honey bee colony is an environmental sentinel. It can tell us a lot with what’s going on our environment. Bees help to pollinate over a hundred different agricultural crops, over 33-percent of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts that we eat today.

Mark Creighton is Connecticut’s Apiary Inspector. In Connecticut, we have over 7,000 bee colonies that are maintained by over 1,300 beekeepers. He says the misconception that bothers him is there are a lot of people that will take and create a colony of bees and stick it in their backyard and do nothing with it; meaning not tend to it.

Bees need to be looked after.

Usually, what he says he’ll do with a beekeeper is go through the entire hive, top to bottom. He says this is because that is related to bee health and he wants to teach good management style.

He says there are a number of issues today that are affecting bees. One is the varroa mite and the role it plays in vectoring virus load into the honey bee colony. Then, add in environmental stress or weather changes and loss of habitat and those things collectively have a negative impact on honey bee health.

What would our supermarkets look like if we didn’t have these valuable pollinators. Creighton thinks that the bee inspectors are pretty important in Connecticut, for tradition that’s been in effect in Connecticut for 106 years.


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