Bee colonies drop another 29 percent: 'Something is going wrong,' Florida beekeeper saysSubmitted by SIERRAHPBT on Fri, 05/22/2009 - 12:24
By SUSAN SALISBURY | Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Honeybee losses nationwide continue at a level that is economically unsustainable for commercial beekeeping, according to a 2008-09 survey released Tuesday.
The survey, which encompassed 20 percent of the nation's roughly 2.3 million honeybee colonies, found a 29 percent loss of managed bee colonies. This compares with losses of 36 percent and 32 percent in the winters of 2007-08 and 2006-07, respectively. The Apiary Inspectors of America and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, Md., conducted the survey from September 2008 to April.
"If you are a small businessperson in any activity, how long can you sustain 29 percent losses or greater each year?" said Jerry Hayes, assistant chief of the Florida Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection in Gainesville.