Bee Populations Continue To Drop, Just Not As Quickly
According to the USDA, during the first three months of the year, bee keepers nationwide lost about 12% of the colonies, and another 10% during the 2nd quarter. Those losses aren't as bad as the drop we saw during the first half of 2021.
"But this is still very concerning, and it's still an emergency situation."
Chris Hiatt, President of the American Honey Producers Association says the normal yearly bee loss a farmer could expect in the 1980's was around 10%. Now, that figure is between 30%-40% nationally, forcing bee keepers to renovate colonies and buy more queens, which he pointed out is a large expense. Researcher Lanie Bilodeau said she and her team at the USDA's Bee Laboratory are working on this.
"We've got very big, collaborative efforts to try to build these bees up and combat the various problems they are facing."
And Hiatt said that work is desperately needed, since bees face so many challenges, including varroa mites, less forage, climate change, drought and even possibly pesticides.
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