Freezing temperatures cut 2016 honey production

RICHMOND (AP) — The state says freezing temperatures led to a decline in honey production last year.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced this week that 2016 honey production from producers with five or more colonies totaled 190,000 pounds. That’s down 17 percent, or 38,000 pounds, from 2015.

State Apiarist Keith Tignor says high winter bee colony losses and a late spring freeze led to the reduction.

The department notes that crops such as apples, pumpkins, cucumbers, squash and blueberries are dependent on pollinators to fully develop their fruits.