Honeybees had a better year than most, recently, according to a survey done by the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP; beeinformed.org); who perform annual surveys of managed honey bee colonies by 3,377 beekeepers collectively managing 276,832 colonies which represents 9.9% of the estimated 2.81 million managed honey producing colonies in the U.S.
Ordinarily in the winter, Bees will lose a portion of their colonies before the spring and then will fill it back up. According to BIP, the average is a little more than 28% of their colony; 28.6% to be specific. Well, after a devastating 37.7% loss in 2018-2019, last year, the 2019-2020 winter, saw a loss of only 22.2%! Now this is an ongoing survey with 14 years recorded and of those 14 years that’s the second-smallest loss on record. To give perspective the 37.7% loss was the highest on record.
One potential factor presumed from the data is that American beekeepers may be taking their colonies indoors in the winter to increase survival rates, said University of Georgia entomologist Keith Delaplane.
“One would hope that a lower winter loss means a better 2020 assuming that the weather cooperates and beekeepers don’t end up skimping on colony management,” said University of Montana bee specialist Jerry Bromenshenk.
You can read more about this survey in your Good News Story of the Day, here.
Is this likely to lead to a growth in the bee population this year? It doesn’t appear so, any new bee growth still seems to be overshadowed by both winter and summer losses. So this isn’t likely to be a turning point for the environment or the honeybee population. But it is still a great stride in the right direction for a creature that is important to the food chain and the flora.
Hopefully more such strides can be made before it’s too late.
Story and Image from NY Daily News.