Bee demise has been greatly exaggerated: Front Burner

August 1, 2014

From: The Orlando Sentinal

By Paul Driessen Guest columnist

Reports in the media of a coming bee-apocalypse would particularly concern residents of the Sunshine State. Florida is home to a booming $9 billion citrus industry employing nearly 76,000 locals. As several citrus varieties require honeybee pollination to prosper, any threats to our fuzzy friends should be taken seriously. Fortunately, though beekeepers are struggling with ongoing parasite and disease problems, bee populations are doing fine.

The number of honeybee hives in the United States has remained fairly steady for the past 14 years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there has even been a slight increase of colonies from 2.63 million in 2000 to 2.64 million in 2013.

There’s good news for bees worldwide as well. Managed bee populations have risen from about 40 million in the early 1960s to more than 60 million today. Canada’s government has reported the largest numbers of bees since the 1980s. United Nations’ surveys show that Europe’s colonies have slightly increased since 2001.

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