COLUMBUS, OH (AP) - Unseasonably warm weather in Ohio this past fall and winter has created confusion for honeybees and has added to a list of problems they face as researchers investigate how to help them survive and continue their vital role in pollinating crops.
The Columbus Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/2otRWbs ) bees huddle for warmth and rely on whatever honey is stored in hives when temperatures dip below 40 degrees.
February brought high-than-normal temperatures to central Ohio that lured bees from their hives with nothing to feed on. When wintry weather returns, like it did last month, bees are in danger of freezing to death.
Ohio Department of Agriculture apiarist Barbara Bloetscher says the state's bee colonies have faced this issue the past three years.
Ohio farmers rely on bees to pollinate about 70 crops.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com