According to the latest report, honeybees have marked a status improvement as US beekeepers have lost the lowest number of honey colonies in some ten years.
Last year, they remained without some 21 percent of their colonies, which is high but still better than in the last decade. It is surely an improvement over the winter of 2015 – 2016 when beekeepers lost almost 27 percent of their honeybees.
The reported values are part of the annual Bee Informed Partnership survey. Initiated in 2006, this tracks both yearly losses and management practices. This years’ report is based on data offered by over 4,900 US beekeepers.
US Beekeepers Reported Better Numbers, but it Still Not Enough
Although the reduction marks an improvement, it doesn’t mean that the honey bee colonies are out of danger just yet.
“It’s good news in that the numbers are down, but it’s certainly not a good picture. It’s gone from horrible to bad,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp.
He is the survey’s director and also an entomologist part of the University of Maryland. Van Engelsdorp considers that one of the possible reasons for this loss reduction is the decrease in varroa mites. This is a lethal parasite for the honeybees.
He also attributed the mite reduction to both a new product against it and to a more favorable weather for using pesticides.
This is the first year in which US beekeepers reported a decrease in the value of their winter losses. As the surveys point out, the 10-years median rate is 28.4 percent.
Although this winter’s value is significantly lower, it remains to be seen if it will continue decreasing. Specialists state that it is quite hard to predict if this trend will continue.
Very many factors are at play and can determine the faith of a colony. Some such elements could include poor nutrition, pesticide use, diseases, and parasites.
Reports state that the US is looking to reduce the value of the honey bee colony losses during the winter to 15 percent.
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