honey bees

Report Reflects Continued Stress on U.S. Honeybee Colonies

DanAgri-Business, Environment, Pollinators, This Land of Ours

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A new USDA report on U.S. honeybee colonies shows continued high losses of those colonies. USDA’s Gary Crawford reports.

It seems the nation’s honeybee colonies continue to be under siege. The latest USDA report shows the number of colonies is down from a year ago and the number of Colony losses is up.

Last year, USDA reported that on January 1 of 2022, the number of colonies was only down from the year before by 1%. But on January 1 of this year, the number of colonies was down by 7 % to just under 2.7 million, and the downward pressure has continued into 2023. USDA reports the number of colonies lost during the January through March quarter was up 14%.

Colonies lost with symptoms of Colony Collapse Disorder are up by 25%. What’s going on with the bees? Chris Hiatt, president of the American Honey Producers Association, thinks there are multiple causes.

“Varroa Mite passing viruses, way less forage, climate change with drought,” Hiatt said.

And possibly some issues with pesticides, too.

Gary Crawford for the US Department of Agriculture.

Report Reflects Continued Stress on U.S. Honeybee Colonies

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet News Hour and The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.