American honeybee colonies are doing better this year according to the Bee Informed Partnership’s annual survey.
The scientists surveyed 3,377 commercial beekeepers and backyard enthusiasts in the United States. They found the survival rate from this past winter had increased by over 6%.
That doesn’t sound like a huge win, but we’re talking about hundreds of millions of honeybees here, so a 6% increase is quite substantial.
This good news comes after the dreadful 2018-2019 winter where a record 37.7% of colonies died off.
“One would hope that a lower winter loss (this year) means a better 2020 assuming that the weather cooperates and beekeepers don’t end up skimping on colony management,” said University of Montana bee expert Jerry Bromenshenk.
For decades the population of pollinators — which are crucial to the world’s food supply — have shrunk. Honeybees, the most easily tracked, are threatened by mites, diseases, pesticides, and loss of food.
This is the second bit of good news we’ve seen in the last few weeks regarding pollinators. In late May, a historic deal was made to protect millions of acres of Monarch butterfly habitat.