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Honeybee Losses Improve 'From Horrible to Bad'

Image: Honeybee Losses Improve 'From Horrible to Bad'

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By    |   Friday, 26 May 2017 05:50 AM

Honeybee losses in the U.S. this winter were lower than recent years based on a survey that's been around for more than a decade.

Honeybee winter losses have been a problem for beekeepers for decades, but a U.S. survey released on Thursday suggests that the issue is getting better, according to The Associated Press.

According to the Bee Informed Partnership survey, beekeepers lost 21 percent of their colonies over last winter compared with 27 percent the winter before.

The loss is still above the U.S. government's goal to keep winter losses below 15 percent.

"It's good news in that the numbers are down, but it's certainly not a good picture," said survey director Dennis vanEngelsdorp, according to the AP. "It's gone from horrible to bad."

VanEnglesdorp attributed the improvement to a reduction in varroa mites, a lethal parasite.

"We would of course all love it if the trend continues, but there are so many factors playing a role in colony health," said bee expert Elina Lastro Nino of the University of California Davis, according to the AP. "I am glad to see this, but wouldn't celebrate too much yet."

"For more than a decade, bees and other pollinators have been rapidly declining with scientists blaming a mix of parasites, disease, pesticides and poor nutrition," Nino added.

Although the problem does appear to be improving, places like New Hampshire would likely agree with Nino when she says it's not time to celebrate just yet, according to Valley News.

New Hampshire lost about 65 percent of its honeybees this winter, according to a different survey that was taken by the New Hampshire Beekeepers Association.

This was the first time this particular survey was conducted. It tracked honeybee losses from the beginning of October through the end of March, and it keyed in on more than 260 locations in 130 towns.

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Honeybee losses in the U.S. this winter were lower than recent years based on a survey that's been around for more than a decade.
honeybee, losses, improve, winter
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2017-50-26
Friday, 26 May 2017 05:50 AM
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