Honeybee population bounces back after brutal previous winter
After an alarming 2018-19 winter in which there were a record 37.7% less honeybees than the previous year, the species rebounded strongly this previous winter.
This previous winter, beekeepers noted a less devastating loss of 22.2% of their colonies — considerably better than the average of 28.6%, according to the Bee Informed Partnership.
During the ongoing 14-year survey, that percentage was the second-smallest winter loss on record.
Honeybee populations often following a cyclical formula with good seasons following bad ones, said scientific coordinator Nathalie Steinhauer.
Following the horrific 2018-19 winter, the following summer beekeepers reported a 32% decrease in their specimens.
The scientists surveyed nearly 3,400 commercial beekeepers and apiary enthusiasts, according to The AP.
“One would hope that a lower winter loss means a better 2020 assuming that the weather cooperates and beekeepers don’t end up skimping on colony management,” said University of Montana bee specialist Jerry Bromenshenk.
One potential factor presumed from the data is that American beekeepers may be taking their colonies indoors in the winter to increase survival rates, said University of Georgia entomologist Keith Delaplane.
For decades, scientists have been keeping a close eye on the shrinking bee population, which is crucial to the world’s food supply.
Honeybees face numerous obstacles, including pesticides, mites and food shortages.