Survey: Honeybee Losses Continue To Mount

Losses of managed honeybee colonies nationwide totaled 33.8% from all causes from October 2009 to April 2010, according to a survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Beekeepers identified starvation, poor weather, and weak colonies going into winter as the top reasons for mortality in their operations.

This is an increase from overall losses of 29% reported from a similar survey covering the winter of 2008-2009, and similar to the 35.8% losses for the winter of 2007-2008.

The continued high rate of losses are worrying, especially considering losses occurring over the summer months were not being captured, notes Jeffrey Pettis, research leader of ARS’ Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s principal intramural scientific research agency. The survey was conducted by Pettis and past AIA presidents Dennis vanEngelsdorp and Jerry Hayes. The three researchers said that continued losses of this magnitude are not economically sustainable for commercial beekeepers.

The 28% of beekeeping operations that reported some of their colonies perished without dead bees present—a sign of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)—lost 44% of their colonies. This compares to 26% of beekeepers reporting such dead colonies in the 2008-2009 winter and 32% in the 2007-2008 winter. Beekeepers that did not report their colonies having CCD lost 25% of their colonies.

As this was an interview-based survey, it was not possible to differentiate between verifiable cases of CCD and colonies lost as the result of other causes that share the "absence of dead bees" as a symptom. The cause of CCD is still unknown.

The survey checked on about 22.4% of the country’s estimated 2.46 million colonies. The survey reports only winter losses and does not capture colony losses that occur throughout the summer when queens or entire colonies fail and need to be replaced. Those summer losses can be significant.

A complete analysis of the survey data will be published later this year. The abstract can be found at
http://ento.psu.edu/pollinators/news/losses-2009-10

More information about CCD can be found at www.ars.usda.gov/ccd.
 

Source: Kim Kaplan, USDA-ARS news article

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Survey: Honeybee Losses Continue To Mount

  1. I believe there is a problem. However, last fall I had a Honey Bee hive find a spot in my house.
    I call many many Michigan Bee keepers and they were not interested in saving the bees. They told me to hire a pesticide applicator to kill them.
    SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM NOW.
    Stop changing the food seeds maybe the bees will come back. I know its a good thing for us growers but a bad thing for the Bees.

  2. What was once an incredibly coveted “National Treasure” our precious miraculous honey bees, and other dynamic pollinators, were ignored to the point of their becoming a “commodity” in the eyes and minds of some owners…to be used, abused, sold, traded, sub-let, haphazardly transported, warehoused, treated as a “disposable,” experimented on . . . basically thrown under the proverbial “bus” as if their renowned resiliency would provide an absolute fail-safe for their welfare.
    To the care-minded very devoted bee-husbands in our great country – WELL DONE and Keep Up Your Great Work!! To the abusers – shame on you!
    The present demise of our honey bees is a result of many-many long-term compounded, very conscious, negligent, rather blatant abuses. Now we search for a quick-fix?? VERY thorough training and education of A-L-L their handlers must be implemented as a ‘foundation’ or any “cure” we produce will result in a short-term fix.
    Above all – Long-term our National Treasures require the passionate mind-set of thorough respect and strident guardianship…our honey bees should never-ever to be mistreated or even mildly abused for “…profit at any price.” They are small and defenseless but they are one of God’s mightiest most incredible creations!
    Thank you.

  3. I believe there is a problem. However, last fall I had a Honey Bee hive find a spot in my house.
    I call many many Michigan Bee keepers and they were not interested in saving the bees. They told me to hire a pesticide applicator to kill them.
    SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM NOW.
    Stop changing the food seeds maybe the bees will come back. I know its a good thing for us growers but a bad thing for the Bees.

  4. What was once an incredibly coveted “National Treasure” our precious miraculous honey bees, and other dynamic pollinators, were ignored to the point of their becoming a “commodity” in the eyes and minds of some owners…to be used, abused, sold, traded, sub-let, haphazardly transported, warehoused, treated as a “disposable,” experimented on . . . basically thrown under the proverbial “bus” as if their renowned resiliency would provide an absolute fail-safe for their welfare.
    To the care-minded very devoted bee-husbands in our great country – WELL DONE and Keep Up Your Great Work!! To the abusers – shame on you!
    The present demise of our honey bees is a result of many-many long-term compounded, very conscious, negligent, rather blatant abuses. Now we search for a quick-fix?? VERY thorough training and education of A-L-L their handlers must be implemented as a ‘foundation’ or any “cure” we produce will result in a short-term fix.
    Above all – Long-term our National Treasures require the passionate mind-set of thorough respect and strident guardianship…our honey bees should never-ever to be mistreated or even mildly abused for “…profit at any price.” They are small and defenseless but they are one of God’s mightiest most incredible creations!
    Thank you.

Featured Stories

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

CitrusGrowers Need To Take The Ball And Run — Now! [Opi…
October 18, 2014
Help yourself, your farm, and fellow colleagues by becoming more involved in your industry. Read More
CitrusLegendary Florida Citrus Grower And Advocate Passes
October 17, 2014
Joe L. Davis Sr. will be remembered for his straight talk and sage advice. Read More
GrapesNew American Viticultural Area In Northern California E…
October 17, 2014
“Eagle Peak Mendocino County” lies entirely within the North Coast viticultural area. Read More
GrapesMapping Grape Crown Gall Tumor Disease
October 17, 2014
Scientists are close to cracking the disease’s genetic code, a major boon to vineyard protection. Read More
NutsAlmond Growers To Promote Bee Health
October 16, 2014
Almond Board of California announces comprehensive Best Management Practices. Read More
Cucurbits6 Juicy Watermelon Selections For The Sunshine State
October 16, 2014
Leading vegetable seed companies highlight a half dozen high-performance varieties for Florida producers. Read More
CitrusDiversification Is King For Small Farm’s Success
October 16, 2014
Being flexible and adapting to the times critical for Central Florida's Vo-LaSalle Farms. Read More
CitrusAsian Citrus Psyllid Moves Into Northern California
October 15, 2014
First detections made of damaging insect in Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties. Read More
Farm ManagementVidalia Onion Committee Reaches Younger Audience with D…
October 15, 2014
“V is for Vidalia” campaign focused on social and digital media outreach. Read More
VegetablesSakata Seed America To Debut “Tasty 10 By Sakata Coll…
October 15, 2014
The collection includes a new variety and will be launched at the PMA Fresh Summit Oct 17-19. Read More
Insect ControlBagrada Bug Continues To Spread In California’s Brass…
October 15, 2014
The pest is expected to be a problem through December. Read More
Vegetables8 Blazing Hot Pepper Varieties [Slideshow]
October 15, 2014
Check out these 8 hot pepper varieties from the nation’s leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
NutsKeep In Mind Availability Of Soil Fumigants
October 15, 2014
Almond growers must be aware of restrictions pertaining to soil fumigants prior to replanting. Read More
Food SafetyCalifornia Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Revises Web…
October 15, 2014
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement's revised website provides food safety news and resources. Read More
CitrusScientists Uproot Common “Superweed” Myths
October 15, 2014
A new fact sheet is available that explores the truth behind two fallacies.   Read More
CitrusUF/IFAS Joins In On Specialty Crop Block Grant Bonanza
October 15, 2014
Researchers partnering with FDACS and USDA on 24 separate projects to strengthen the produce market sector. Read More
Citrus2015 Florida Agricultural Hall Of Fame Inductees Announ…
October 14, 2014
Six more to be honored for helping shape and influence the state’s farming industry. Read More
Apples & PearsRare Apple Found In Michigan
October 14, 2014
One-in-a-million chimera apple was discovered in a block of Rome apples. Read More