Tue, Mar 27, 2012 - Page 14 News List

90 percent less bees this year worries beekeepers
蜜蜂少九成 養蜂人家苦

Chang Ching-po, head of the beekeeper class at Keelung Farmers’ Association, holds up a beehive in Keelung on March 21.
基隆市農會土蜂養蜂班班長張清波三月二十一日在基隆市拿養蜂箱。

Photo: Yu Chao-fu, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者俞肇福

With flowers not blooming due to a climate in chaos and a long rainy season, only 150 of 500 hives kept by the 19 beekeepers at Keelung Farmers Association’ are left. Chang Ching-po, head of the beekeeper class there, said that each hive originally had 20,000 bees but now only has 3,000, leaving only a million of the usual 10 million bees, which is a big loss.

Chang said there are still two months until the spring honey is harvested during the fourth month of the lunar calendar, and that all they can do now is hope for normal weather and that it will stop raining so much. This way the number of bees increases, they have a normal harvest, and can lower their losses.

Chang also said it has been raining nonstop in Keelung since October last year and that there have been very few days with nice weather, which is a huge thorn in the side for beekeepers in the Keelung area. Abnormal weather coupled with low temperatures is making bees unwilling to leave their hives.

He said the main problem is that it keeps raining, which has affected the blooming of flowers in the Cidu mountain area. Flowers are now withering before they even begin to bloom because of the heavy rains. While they wait in their hives for good weather, the bees do not go out to get pollen and nectar, seriously affecting the amount of honey being produced. Chang said the scope of beekeeping at Keelung Farmers’ Association includes the Cidu mountain area, and Nuannuan and Anle districts, all of which are facing the same problem. Chang originally had 110 hives, which should each have 20,000 bees, but now there are only 20 hives left with less than 4,000 bees in each one.

Chang also said he has not seen such strange phenomena in over a decade. If bees are not freezing to death, they are dying outside. Aside from affecting the honey harvest, it will also influence the price of honey. He just hopes good weather comes quickly and things return to normal in the remaining two months.

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY KYLE JEFFCOAT)

氣候亂、雨季長花不開,造成基隆農會土蜂養蜂班十九戶養蜂人家五百箱土蜂,僅剩下一百五十箱;土蜂養蜂班班長張清波說,每箱本來有兩萬隻土蜂,現在剩下三千隻,造成大約一千萬隻土蜂只剩下不到一百萬隻土蜂,損失慘重。

張清波說,距離農曆四月底春蜜採收還剩兩個月,現在只能希望天氣正常、雨不要再下個不停,讓土蜂數量再增加,採收能夠如常,以減少損失。

他說,基隆地區從去年十月下旬迄今,一直持續下雨,好天氣屈指可數,讓基隆地區的養蜂人家十分頭痛。天氣異常加上氣溫低,養蜂箱中的土蜂都不願出門採蜜。

他表示,最主要就是雨一直下,讓七堵山區的樹木開花受影響,花還沒開就被大雨給淋到凋零,等到好天氣時,土蜂出門身上都黏不到花粉也吸不到花蜜,更影響到蜂蜜產量。他說,基隆農會養蜂範圍包括七堵山區、暖暖區、安樂區,大家都面臨同樣問題;以他自己為例,本來有一百一十箱,一個蜂箱原本應該有兩萬隻的土蜂,但是現在只剩不到二十個養蜂箱,而且剩下的養蜂箱每個箱子剩不到四千隻。

他說,十幾年來從沒見過這樣怪異的現象,蜜蜂不是凍死,就是在外面死亡;除了影響蜂蜜採收外,連帶也會影響蜂蜜價格,他只希望趕快好天氣,在剩下兩個月時間恢復正常。

(自由時報記者俞肇福)

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