Feed the bees! Summer drought could mean winter woes for insects

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The summer's drought has Ohio's agriculture department urging beekeepers to make sure their bees are properly fed to survive the winter.

The nation's worst drought in decades stretched from Ohio west to California.

Ohio officials are blaming the drought for low food storage at some bee colonies. Queen bees slow egg production when there's a lack of nectar to make honey and poor pollen production from dry soil.

Honey and pollen are needed to feed bee larvae, but fondant or sugar syrup can also be used.

The agriculture department says if the back of the hive is easily lifted, it's likely the bees need to be fed. But they warn not to open the hives when the temperature is colder than 60 degrees, unless it's absolutely necessary for feeding.

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