Winter Honey Bee Losses Decline

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Total losses of managed honey bee colonies from all causes dropped to 21.9 percent nationwide for the 2011/2012 winter, a decline of some 8 percentage points or 27 percent from the approximately 30 percent average loss beekeepers have experienced in recent winters, according to the latest annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, the Apiary Inspectors of America and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“This is certainly an improvement over recent years, but it is still far too high a loss rate,” says University of Maryland’s Dennis vanEngelsdorp, the leader of the survey and a research scientist in the department of entomology at Maryland. “One in five bees lost is still huge and still quite a ways from the 13-14 percent loss that beekeepers say would be sustainable” says vanEngelsdorp, who authored the preliminary report on the groups’ survey findings. 

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(The above brought us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.)