Saving the Bees: Honeybee Populations on the Rise After Colony Collapse Disorder

August 3, 2017

From: Newsweek



But newly released figures from the USDA indicate a break in that trend. Only about 84 colonies were lost in first quarter of 2017. That figure is 27 percent less than the number of colonies reported lost for the first quarter of 2016.

But the news isn’t completely rosy. Varrora mites, a parasite that lives inside beehives, are one of the many causes that researchers believe could be behind the losses. And the new report lists these mites as the top stressor responsible for lost colonies. The parasites, which survive by sucking insect blood, were reported in 42 percent of commercial bee hives. However, the department noted that instances of the varrora mites, which first started plaguing bee hives in 1987, were still down some 11 percent compared to the 53 percent of hives affected by the parasites the year before.

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