A renowned biologist has stressed that the extraordinarily mild conditions in Central Europe this winter would have negative consequences for honeybees.
Dr Hannes Petrischak is the author of several books on biodiversity. The scientist said that bees were already foraging was “not a good thing.”
Speaking to the Bild newspaper, Dr Petrischak warned: “It costs them lots of energy. However, they won’t find many nectar sources yet.”
Referring to the wide scale of changes caused by global warming, the biologist – who currently researches at the Heinz Sielmann Foundation in Duderstadt, Lower Saxony – said: “A few mild days won’t tempt hibernating animals to abandon their usual strategies completely. But the warm temperatures will become more tempting as daylight periods are getting longer.”
Tino Lorz is managing several hives in Dresden, Saxony. He told Bild: “Instead of resting, the bees are suddenly breeding. I’m really worried about the next harvest.”
Manfred Uhlemann from the Saxon Association of Farmers claimed there was the risk that many colonies would die out.
He said: “The bees are overexerting themselves. They eat all of their wintertime provisions and then die. In springtime, when fruit trees should be pollinated, we will miss them.”
Federal weather statistics show that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have never been warmer in Germany.
Silvia Teich of NABU, an environmentalism organisation, called the current conditions a “big threat to our natural world.”