Bee experts: Drought already impacting next year's blooms

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TAZEWELL, Tenn. (WVLT) - East Tennessee's dry conditions won't last into Spring, but beekeepers said the damage is already done. You could see it in next year's flowers.

Jay Heselschwerdt organizes the annual HONEY Convention to educate people about bees. He's also a beekeeper in Claiborne County and said this season's dry weather is hard on the bees.

"We really have not had what we need to, to get the bees ready for winter," Heselschwerdt said.

No rain means plants are not producing nectar, which means bees are not attracted to pollinate.

"Next spring we're not going to have the abundance of flowers and vegetation we had this year," Heselschwerdt told WVLT News at his Tazewell farm. "You can see it each year depending on the previous year."

Nectar also gives the bees energy to get through the winter. Without it, beekeepers said the insects could die off.

Heselschwerdt said this year's dry season came later than in year's past taking many beekeepers by surprise.

They can help by using a sugar and water mixture to mimic nectar and get the bees ready for winter.

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