Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

U.S. honey bee losses at 30% for 2010-2011 winter

Date:
May 23, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Total losses from managed honey bee colonies across the U.S. were 30 percent from all causes for the 2010/2011 winter, according to the results of an annual survey. This is roughly similar to total losses reported in similar surveys done in the four previous years: 34 percent for the 2009/2010 winter, 29 percent for 2008/2009; 36 percent for 2007/2008, and 32 percent for 2006/2007.

ARS-AIA survey reports honey bees losses holding about steady.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Russ Ottens, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org.

Total losses from managed honey bee colonies nationwide were 30 percent from all causes for the 2010/2011 winter, according to the annual survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA).

This is roughly similar to total losses reported in similar surveys done in the four previous years: 34 percent for the 2009/2010 winter, 29 percent for 2008/2009; 36 percent for 2007/2008, and 32 percent for 2006/2007.

"The lack of increase in losses is marginally encouraging in the sense that the problem does not appear to be getting worse for honey bees and beekeepers," said Jeff Pettis, an entomologist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) who helped conduct the study. "But continued losses of this size put tremendous pressure on the economic sustainability of commercial beekeeping." Pettis is the leader of the Bee Research Laboratory operated in Beltsville, Md., by ARS, the chief scientific research agency of USDA.

The survey, which covered the period from October 2010 to April 2011, was led by Pettis and by AIA past presidents Dennis vanEngelsdorp and Jerry Hayes.

Beekeepers reported that, on average, they felt losses of 13 percent would be economically acceptable. Sixty-one percent of responding beekeepers reported having losses greater than this.

Average colony loss for an individual beekeeper's operation was 38.4 percent. This compares to an average loss of 42.2 percent for individual beekeepers' operations in 2009/2010.

Average loss by operation represents the percentage of loss in each operation added together and divided by the number of beekeeping operations that responded to the survey. This number is affected more by small beekeeping operations, which may only have 10 or fewer colonies, so a loss of just five colonies in a 10-colony operation would represent a 50 percent loss. Total losses were calculated as all colonies reported lost in the survey divided by the total number of bee colonies reported in the survey. This number is affected more by larger operations, which might have 10,000 or more colonies, so a loss of five colonies in a 10,000-colony operation would equal only a 0.05 percent loss.

Among surveyed beekeepers who lost any colonies, 31 percent reported losing at least some of their colonies without finding dead bee bodies -- one of the symptoms that defines Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). As this was an interview-based survey, it was not possible to differentiate between verifiable cases of CCD and colonies lost as the result of other causes that share the "absence of dead bees" as a symptom. The cause of CCD is still unknown.

The beekeepers who reported colony losses with no dead bee bodies present also reported higher average colony losses (61 percent), compared to beekeepers who lost colonies but did not report the absence of dead bees (34 percent in losses).

A total of 5,572 beekeepers, who manage more than 15 percent of the country's estimated 2.68 million colonies, responded to the survey.

A complete analysis of the survey data will be published later this year. The abstract can be found at http://www.extension.org/pages/58013/honey-bee-winter-loss-survey .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Kim Kaplan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "U.S. honey bee losses at 30% for 2010-2011 winter." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110523124214.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, May 23). U.S. honey bee losses at 30% for 2010-2011 winter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110523124214.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "U.S. honey bee losses at 30% for 2010-2011 winter." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110523124214.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins