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
Bee Die-Off Goes From Bad to Worse
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)

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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