After Years of Decline, Finally Some Good News About America’s Honey Bees
(ANTIMEDIA) — Because 90 percent of modern crops rely on pollination, honey bees are vitally important to ecosystems. Due to mites, pesticides, and a slew of other harms, however, the numbers of colonies in the U.S. and Europe have declined a staggering 90 percent over the past two decades. Fortunately, it appears populations of the bumbling insects in both countries are on the rise.
According to a new honeybee health survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), released Tuesday, honey bee colonies for operations with five or more colonies have risen 3 percent to 2.89 million as of April 1, 2017, compared to a year earlier. Bloomberg reports that the number of operations (with more than five hives) lost to Colony Collapse Disorder — a phenomenon through which thousands of honey bees have disappeared — also decreased 27 percent. Operations with five or more colonies that participated had to meet the following criteria to be considered lost to