Thursday, October 29, 2020
Thursday, October 29, 2020

US honeybees are doing better after bad year, survey shows
U

Your Content is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

American honeybee colonies have bounced back after a bad year, the annual beekeeping survey finds.

Beekeepers only lost 22.2% of their colonies this past winter, from Oct. 1 to March 31, which is lower than the average of 28.6%, according to the Bee Informed Partnership’s annual survey of thousands of beekeepers. It was the second smallest winter loss in the 14 years of surveying done by several different U.S. universities.

- Advertisement -

Last winter’s loss was considerably less than the previous winter of 2018-2019 when a record 37.7% of colonies died off, the scientists found. After that bad winter, the losses continued through the summer of 2019, when beekeepers reported a 32% loss rate. That’s much higher than the average of 21.6% for summer losses. Those summer losses were driven more by hives of commercial beekeepers than backyard hobbyists, said bee partnership scientific coordinator Nathalie Steinhauer.

While the summer losses are bad, winter deaths are “really the test of colony health,” so the results overall are good news, Steinhauer said. “It turned out to be a very good year.”

Populations tend to be cyclical with good years following bad ones, she said. The scientists surveyed 3,377 commercial beekeepers and backyard enthusiasts in the United States.

- Advertisement -

“One would hope that a lower winter loss means a better 2020 assuming that the weather cooperates and beekeepers don’t end up skimping on colony management,” said University of Montana bee expert Jerry Bromenshenk, who wasn’t part of the study.

Beekeepers in the U.S. also may be taking more of their colonies indoors in the winter, helping them survive, said University of Georgia entomologist Keith Delaplane. New U.S. Department of Agriculture research suggests putting bees in “cold storage” helps them survive the winter.

For decades scientists have been watching the population of pollinators — crucial to the world’s food supply — shrink. Honeybees, the most easily tracked, are threatened by mites, diseases, pesticides and loss of food.

Loss rates now being seen “are part of the new normal,” Steinhauer said.

Protect Independent Journalism

Your Content is a nonprofit newsroom that produces nonpartisan, evidence-based journalism to expose injustice, corruption and wrongdoing.

Spearheading the news revolution for Americans across the nation, Your Content has brought a voice to those the media failed to acknowledge.

This story you’ve just finished was funded by our readers and we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Your Content so that we can publish more reports like this one that holds people in power to account and produces real change.

Your donation will help us ensure that we can continue this critical work. We are busier than ever covering stories you won’t see anywhere else.

Bombs Located in Philadelphia Amid Riots, Bomb Squad and FBI Responding as Rioters Flee

Several bombs have been located in Philadelphia moments ago, Your Content is learning.

Sleeping Philly Mayor Delays Releasing Bodycam Footage, Calmly Asks People to Relax

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney nonchalantly told residents to simply relax for the time being.

President Trump ‘100 percent’ Briefed on Philly Riots, Department of Justice Called to Investigate

Federal sources say 'this is no longer a peaceful protest' as they prepare to close the case involving the Philadelphia Police Department.

Trump Instructed to ‘Send Nancy Pelosi’ to be the First Woman to Walk and Stay on the Moon

President Trump was told to send Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to the moon as he discussed sending the first woman to walk on the moon.

Rooster Kills Police Officer Who Was Trying to Break Up an Illegal Cock Fight Overseas

A police officer was brutally killed by a rooster as the man journeyed to break up an illegal cock fight.

Delaware County Sued in Federal Court for ‘Creating Three New Election Days’ Amid Nov. 3

Delaware County is accused of creating 'three new Election Days' in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this week.

Philadelphia Under 9PM Curfew Due to Riots

A curfew of 9:00 p.m. has been imposed in Philadelphia due to imminent riots to follow for a third night in a row, Your Content has learned.

Man Changes Florida Governor’s Voter Registration to Prove How Easy It Is to Hack

A 20-year-old is accused of changing the governor's address in the state's voter database.

Stay Informed & Get Your Content, Daily.

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Your Content is a not-for-profit national American media organization of artists and journalists headquartered in Pennsylvania.