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.

If you have an idea for someone we should talk with for ‘Working for Connecticut,’ send us an email or Facebook message, and watch News 8 every week for more stories on the people who are working to make Connecticut a great place to live.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s