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44 Percent of Bees' Colonies in the United State Gone Over the Last Year

May 11, 2016 09:42 PM EDT
Honey Bees
Beekeepers across the United States reported an increase in the summer loss and winter loss rates of their bee colonies, totalling to 44.1 percent of annual losses from April 2015 to April 2016.
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Beekeepers across United States are extremely alarmed with the continued decline in bee colonies even in summer when bees are expected to have increased their population.

"We're now in the second year of high rates of summer loss, which is cause for serious concern," said Dennis van Engelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and project director for the Bee Informed Partnership, said in a statement.

"Some winter losses are normal and expected. But the fact that beekeepers are losing bees in the summer, when bees should be at their healthiest, is quite alarming," added the professor in the same statement.

According to the Preliminary Colony Loss Results of Bee Informed Partnership, beekeepers reported a total of 44.1 percent loss in the bee colonies they are managing over the course of last year, up by 3.5 percent from the 40.6 percent of the precious study year (2014-2015).

Beekeepers reported that the winter loss rate of bee colonies have reached up to 28.1 percent, an increase of 5.2 percent from the past winter, while summer loss rate also trailed to 28.1 percent from 25.3 percent last summer.

The report was conducted by Bee Informed Partnership, in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The continued decreases of bee colonies across the United States are attributed to natural and man-made actions. Many scientists pinpoints varroa mite, a lethal parasite that can easily spread between colonies, as the main cause of bee colonies decline. The use of pesticides in agricultural land and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also considered to be major contributor in the decline of colonies.

The survey clearly shows that the honey bee colonies are in such a bad shape. Bees are considered to be vital in pollination. With the decrease of their colonies, flower and some fruit industries that solely rely on bees for pollination will also received some damage.

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