Bee Die-Off Goes From Bad to Worse

Beekeepers lost 42% of colonies over 12-month period: survey
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2015 11:20 AM CDT
Stuart Van Meter, president of the Henderson County Bee Association, checks one of the bee hives at Historic Johnson Farm in Hendersonville, N.C. on Jan. 22, 2015.   (AP Photo/Times-News, Mike Dirks)
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(Newser) – The honeybee die-off appears to have taken a turn for the worse to the chagrin of beekeepers. An annual survey finds beekeepers lost 42% of their colonies from April 2014 to the same month this year—the second-worst period for bees since surveys started in 2010. The previous 12-month period had seen losses of 34%. The latest figure seems especially high considering that, before colony collapse disorder was identified, beekeepers expected just 10% of their bees to die in any given year, the New York Times reports. While honeybees aren't about to go extinct, the die-off could cost the agriculture industry; pollination services are worth up to $15 billion per year. (Lowe's is phasing out pesticides that may be contributing to the problem.)

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