The USDA recently released its Honey Bee Colony report. If you just look at the January 1st, 2018 figure of bee colonies in operations with five or more colonies and compare it to January 1st, 2017, you would think there was no problem with colony losses.
“The number of colonies was down 0.4% from year-to-year”, said NASS’ Tony Dorn. But he added that number hides the fact that every three months, producers continue to lose a lot of colonies. For example, January through March of 2017.
“The number of colonies lost were 398,650, which is 15% of the total colonies.”
In the same quarter this year, a 16% loss. Dorn said producers have been losing each quarter, 10%-16% of their colonies, keeping overall numbers steady, but splitting existing colonies in half or starting new ones.
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