Santa Barbara- S County

Honey Bees Hit Hard by Drought Conditions

Backyard beekeepers hope to help

Honey Bees Hit Hard by Drought Conditions

MONTECITO, Calif. - Even native honey bees in backyards are feeling the impact of the drought.

Drought conditions are affecting their food supply and drinking water.

Bees are searching for water, nectar and pollen.  And with water in short supply they don't have enough to drink or to use to cool their hives.

If a hive gets above 95 degrees the bees can die.

Beekeepers said bees are also robbing other hives of their honey to survive.

Local beekeepers are trying to help by teaching land owners how to become backyard beekeepers.

Paul Cronshaw of the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association has taught beekeeping for years.  Cronshaw said if you can't keep bees you can help by putting out a bird bath full of water and by growing plants bees like such as lavender and rosemary.

The Beekeepers Guild of Santa Barbara currently offers classes on Wednesday nights.

Instructor Tom Rem said for about $200 a new beekeeper can get started.

Weather permitting a backyard beekeeper should be able to bottle honey within the year.

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