Magazine article USA TODAY

Keeping Bees Alive in Cold Weather

Magazine article USA TODAY

Keeping Bees Alive in Cold Weather

Article excerpt

One of the greatest challenges facing beekeepers, particularly in colder climates, is the seasonal loss of beehives. On average, beekeepers in the U.S. lose about 30% of their hives during the winter months, with areas in the upper Midwest losing as much as 50%, which translates into significant ecological and financial costs.

Edward Burkett, professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin, experienced this issue acutely in 2016 when all the hives in the UW-Superior bee apiary were lost. He had just established the apiary as part of the university's Urban Honey Bee Project--an education and community service initiative designed to engage undergraduate students in research.

As a result, Doc Bee (as he is known by his students) came up with the idea to build a beehive windshield, a device he believed would help solve the problem, and mentioned it to colleague, Kenn Raihala, a retired mechanical engineer at the university. …

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