Excessive heat in East Texas limits food sources for bees

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 7:22 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Hot weather also impacts a big helper to the global food supply. Bees are ready for cooler temperatures, just like us.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 3,500 species of native bees help increase crop yields. That means one out of every three bites of food you eat are pollinated by bees.

Bob Love of Lufkin owns Love’s Apiary and bee removal. Love said summertime is considered a dearth period where there is a lack of primary food sources for bees, “meaning that there’s not anything out there blooming that the bees can actually use to gather nectar and pollen.”

Love said there’s an average of 40,000 bees in a hive, and in the summer, you can find “a lot more bees on guard duty, and the heat affects them kind of like it does us. It makes them more irritable.”

When temperatures are above 95 degrees, bee colonies work extra hard to sustain all bees and to keep cool, said Love.

“They’ll go through three to four gallons, for each colony, of water each day.”

With plants and ponds drying out, Loves said bees will seek other water sources to take back to their colony. “When things start getting hotter, and we get into the drier times of the year, I get a lot of phone calls from homeowners that have bees coming into their pools,” said Love.

Love recommends homeowners set up an alternative source to keep them away. “Fill that up with water, add a little bit of salt or sugar to it to attract the bees but get away from the pool, away from where people are going to be.”

To avoid hospital visits, bee experts ask to contact professional help to remove hives.