The recent record-breaking warm weather is starting to fool Saskatchewan wildlife into thinking it’s spring, including bees.
Video submitted to CTV News by a provincial bee keeper Karen Marchuk shows the insects moving outside of their winter enclosure. The video is dated January 31, well before their expected annual spring wake-up.
“What we see in bees is they are reactive and very sensitive to weather changes. They will be picking up these cues from the weather,” said Geoff Wilson, an agricultural specialist from the Government of Saskatchewan.
Andrew Hamilton is a bee farm owner. He says the behaviour and patterns of the bees are normal, but the warm weather this early in the year is not.
The bees take the warm weather as a sign to begin reproducing and if the weather dips extremely low, they could be in danger.
“If we get a sudden cold snap and they have to abandon the brood, and then the brood dies off and it’s a waste of resources for the bees,” Hamilton said.
Métis elder and knowledge keeper, Betty McKenna remembers winters growing up and the contrast of winters now.
McKenna hopes the weather stabilizes soon or the environment will need extra help come spring.
“My fear is with all this melting and we didn’t get much snow this winter. What’s going to happen come May if don’t get a full month of May?” said McKenna.
The temperature is forecasted to hover around the freezing mark for the foreseeable future.
In Regina, the normal daytime high on Feb. 6 is about -9 C, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.