Many bees are used for pollination of crops or happen to be kept near large agricultural areas and often feed from certain crops. There is some speculation that certain crops and therefore nutrition can have an effect on colony health. For 2011-2012, we found that hives that were around cotton had fewer losses than hives that were not around cotton. But, since cotton is exclusively grown in the South, the regional difference can be accounted for the difference since there were more losses in the north overall. The amount of hives that beekeepers who had their colonies near cotton were consistent with the amount of loss suffered in the South overall.
Honey production happens year round, but for the year 2011-2012 it seems that honey production in the spring is a better indicator of survivorship. Beekeepers who had below average or no honey crops in the spring lost significantly more colonies that those who had normal or above average honey production. These trends did not hold true for the other seasons.
This information is for educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade names do not imply endorsement by the Bee Informed Partnership or its members. The results presented here are the summary of the population who responded. The sample may not be representative of the beekeeping population at large. These results simply highlight differences in the sample population. The results cannot be considered conclusive, causative, protective, or attest to product efficacy or lack of efficacy
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All survey reports listed here: Bee Informed National Management Survey 2011-2012