Less ‘buzz’ in Florida after beehives wiped out by hurricanes

Beekeepers work to keep their hives alive after hurricanes Ian, Nicole

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Hurricanes Ian and Nicole didn’t just destroy homes and businesses — a local beekeeper also says Florida’s bee population took a hard hit.

Oxx Simeina runs Oxx Beekeeping in Kissimmee. He said he keeps bees on multiple properties across North and Central Florida.

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One of the properties he keeps his hives on was flooded with “about 3 feet of water,” and some of the hives “floated about 100 yards to the other side of the yard.”

“A bunch of them flipped over, and I pretty much lost all of the hives,” Simeina said.

One of the hives managed to survive.

“I’m just trying to baby her to make sure she makes it through the winter,” the beekeeper said.

He told Ginger Gadsden and Matt Austin on Florida’s Fourth Estate that the struggle extends beyond his hives.

Simeina said a lot of trees were destroyed in the storms.

“So the bees aren’t getting as much food as they would get during this time of year, and the bees that do have food are being robbed by the bees that don’t have food,” he said.

Simeina said this is the first year in 9 years he is considering giving his bees a sugar-water mix through the whole winter to make sure they don’t starve.

He said he doesn’t like it because it’s not natural, but he has to do what needs to be done to save his bees following the busy hurricane season.

You can learn more about the impact Hurricane Ian and Nicole have had on our local bee population on Florida’s Fourth Estate.

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About the Author:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 3:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.