The U. S. Department of Agriculture says the number of managed honey bee colonies has increased over the last decade. While recent public attention has focused largely on colony mortality trends, overall colony numbers have increased since 2006. USDA says the number of managed colonies has increased from roughly two million in 2006 to near 2.8 million in 2016. However, honeybee mortality, as measured by the loss of a honeybee colony, has remained high over the last decade. In the 2006-2007 counting period, approximately 30 percent of honeybee colonies were lost during the over-winter period.
The over-winter loss rate has since diminished to 22 percent in 2014-2015, but over-summer losses have grown. The net result is that about 44 percent of colonies perished in 2015-2016, compared with 36 percent in 2010-2011.
Source: NAFB News Service