USDA Survey Shows Fewer Bee Colony Losses
Monday, June 4th, 2012
There were fewer losses this past winter of managed honey bee colonies according to a survey by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America.
Losses from all causes were about 22 percent nationwide for 2011/2012 - a substantial drop in mortality from 2006 through early 2011 when losses were as high as 36 percent.
The ARS says the unusually warm weather throughout this past winter could be a reason for the decline in colony losses. Less stress on bees may help them resist pathogens and other problems.
While there was an absence of dead bees among about a third of the beekeepers who reported losses, it is not clear if that is because of Colony Collapse Disorder. The absence of dead bees is a sign of CCD, which was first reported in the U.S. in 2006. There are still no definitive causes for colony collapse disorder.
More than 55-hundred beekeepers who manage about 15 percent of the nation's honey bee colonies took part in the survey.