The Bee Informed Partnership recently released the results of its 2014-2015 Colony Loss Survey. For the 2014-2015 winter – managed honey bee colony losses were 23.1-percent – but for the first time – summer losses exceeded the winter losses at 27.4-percent – for a total year loss of 42.1-perccent. This was the second year in a row that winter losses were noticeably lower than the nine-year average of 28.7-percent – according to USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Still – the survey shows beekeepers are losing colonies throughout the summer in addition to in the winter. Survey co-author Jeff Pettis says the winter loss numbers are more hopeful – especially combined with the fact that there has not been much sign of Colony Collapse Disorder for several years – but high colony losses in the summer and year-round remain very troubling. In order to meet the growing demand for pollination services – Pettis says researchers need to find better answers to the host of stresses that lead to colony losses.
More than 61-hundred beekeepers across the U.S. who managed almost 400,000-colonies in October 2014 responded to the preliminary survey. About two-thirds reported losses greater than the 18.7-percent level that beekeepers reported is economically acceptable – which Pettis says underlines the seriousness of the health problems stressing honey bees in this country. For more information – visit Bee Informed dot org (www.beeinformed.org).