Why did US beekeepers lose almost half of all honeybee colonies in 2015?

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“Beekeepers lost 44 percent of honeybee colonies last year.”

The headline, based on a new U.S. Department of Agriculture Report, is meant to make you think that there’s a shortage of bees, which are about to vanish from the face of the earth. Nothing could be further from the truth.

All we need to do is take a look at another recent USDA report which says there are almost 2.7 million honey-producing honeybee colonies in the United States. That’s up 10 percent from a decade ago

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…the 44 percent figure doesn’t take into account the fact that some loss is inevitable and that beehives rapidly regenerate in the warmer months, as a happy queen can lay over a thousand eggs every day. And beekeepers can accelerate the process with techniques like splitting hives.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Conservation isn't enough. We need technology to blunt the impacts of climate change

So what is making overwinter losses so high? The USDA report explained: “Honey beekeepers with five or more colonies reported Varroa mites as the leading stressor affecting colonies.” …

But what about neonics? According to their survey, pesticides only accounted for 10.5 percent of the stressors on honeybee colonies.

Read full, original post: A 44 Percent Bee Decline?

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