Unseasonably high temperatures well above the average and frequent sunny days in February roused roughly 50 billion bees this month in Italy, according to farmers’ organisation Coldiretti. The lives of many of these bees are now in danger, as the temperatures are expected to drop before Spring starts.
During this winter, Coldiretti monitored temperatures and found that they were 1.65 degrees higher than the historical average in Italy.
Tricked by this ‘fake’ Spring, bees have already left their hives and started foraging and pollinating.
Italy is the fourth highest EU country for number of hives (1.5 million), but in 2019, national honey production has almost been halved due to a rainy spring and the extreme weather in summer, recording a 41% decrease compared to the production expected.
This led to a loss of €73 million in the acacia and citrus honey sector only, according to the Italian institute of services for the food and agricultural market (ISMEA).
Coldiretti also reports that, due to climate anomalies, there have been early blooms of mimosas in Liguria and almond trees in Sicily and Sardinia, while apricot trees in Emilia and Puglia have already buds.