Was there a large bee die-off over our cold winter?

Asked June 9, 2019, 12:32 AM EDT

My raspberries are in full bloom. Typically this would mean hundreds of bees attending to them but this year I’ve yet to see a single bee on the plants. I haven’t seen many bees at all on any other plants either. This is a bit concerning to me. Did the bee population see a drop off during our very cold winter?

Hennepin County Minnesota bees raspberries pollination

1 Response

We aren't aware of any current local reports or assessments regarding bee population trends. For a definitive answer, or one that's informed by bee specialists, please direct your question to staff and the University of Minnesota Bee Lab.

Anecdotal evidence is consistent with your observation, at least in some parts of the Twin Cities area. However, it may be too early in the season to draw many conclusions in this regard. Certainly, foraging conditions were unfavorable for bee and other pollinators many days earlier this spring.