A May 25 report of honey bee colony losses from the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides welcome news for beekeepers in their efforts to improve the health of their colonies in the United States. An estimated 21.1% of colonies managed were lost over the 2016-2017 winter, representing an improvement of 5.8 percentage points compared to the previous winter and falling well below the 10-year average total winter loss rate of 28.4%. It’s the lowest winter loss rate since these surveys began.
“This is terrific news for everyone who cares about bee health,” says Dick Rogers, Principal Scientist and beekeeper for the Bayer Bee Care Program in North America. “As I reported last month, we are not out of the woods, but there is a reason for optimism, given the industry’s commitment to protect these vital pollinators.” Bayer continues to conduct research into the many factors affecting bee health and supports efforts to improve pollinator nutrition caused by a lack of forage through its Feed a Bee initiative. Bayer is also working closely with many partners to improve bee health, including Project Apis m. through its support of the Healthy Hives 2020 initiative.