Nation’s Beekeepers Lost 44 Percent of Bees in 2015-16

Summer losses rival winter losses for the second year running

Beekeepers across the United States lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. Rates of both winter loss and summer loss—and consequently, total annual losses—worsened compared with last year. This marks the second consecutive survey year that summer loss rates rivaled winter loss rates.

The survey, which asks both commercial and small-scale beekeepers to track the health and survival rates of their honey bee colonies, is conducted each year by the Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Survey results for this year and all previous years are publicly available on the Bee Informed website.

“We’re now in the second year of high rates of summer loss, which is cause for serious concern,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and project director for the Bee Informed Partnership. “Some winter losses are normal and expected. But the fact that beekeepers are losing bees in the summer, when bees should be at their healthiest, is quite alarming.”

Beekeepers who responded to the survey lost a total of 44.1 percent of their colonies over the course of the year. This marks an increase of 3.5 percent over the previous study year (2014-15), when loss rates were found to be 40.6 percent. Winter loss rates increased from 22.3 percent in the previous winter to 28.1 percent this past winter, while summer loss rates increased from 25.3 percent to 28.1 percent.

Figure 1: Summary of the total overwinter colony losses (October 1 – April 1) of managed honey bee colonies in the United States across nine annual national surveys. The acceptable range is the average percentage of acceptable colony losses declared by the survey participants in each year of the survey.

Figure 1: Summary of the total overwinter colony losses (October 1 – April 1) of managed honey bee colonies in the United States across nine annual national surveys. The acceptable range is the average percentage of acceptable colony losses declared by the survey participants in each year of the survey.

The researchers note that many factors are contributing to colony losses. A clear culprit is the varroa mite, a lethal parasite that can easily spread between colonies. Pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also likely taking a toll, especially among commercial beekeepers.

A recent study, published online in the journal Apidologie on April 20, 2016, provided the first multi-year assessment of honey bee parasites and disease in both commercial and backyard beekeeping operations. Among other findings (summarized in a recent University of Maryland press release), that study found that the varroa mite is far more abundant than previous estimates indicate and is closely linked to several damaging viruses. Varroa is a particularly challenging problem among backyard beekeepers (defined as those who manage fewer than 50 colonies).

“Many backyard beekeepers don’t have any varroa control strategies in place. We think this results in colonies collapsing and spreading mites to neighboring colonies that are otherwise well-managed for mites,” said Nathalie Steinhauer, a graduate student in the UMD Department of Entomology who leads the data collection efforts for the annual survey. “We are seeing more evidence to suggest that good beekeepers who take the right steps to control mites are losing colonies in this way, through no fault of their own.”

This is the tenth year of the winter loss survey, and the sixth year to include summer and annual losses in addition to winter loss data. More than 5,700 beekeepers from 48 states responded to this year’s survey. All told, these beekeepers are responsible for about 15 percent of the nation’s estimated 2.66 million managed honey bee colonies.

The survey is part of a larger research effort to understand why honey bee colonies are in such poor health, and what can be done to manage the situation. Some crops, such as almonds, depend entirely on honey bees for pollination. Estimates of the total economic value of honey bee pollination services range between $10 billion and $15 billion annually.

“The high rate of loss over the entire year means that beekeepers are working overtime to constantly replace their losses,” said Jeffery Pettis, a senior entomologist at the USDA and a co-coordinator of the survey. “These losses cost the beekeeper time and money. More importantly, the industry needs these bees to meet the growing demand for pollination services. We urgently need solutions to slow the rate of both winter and summer colony losses.”

###

This survey was conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, which receives a majority of its funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (Award No. 2011-67007-20017). The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA.

A summary of the 2015-2016 survey results is available upon request prior to May 10, 2016; thereafter the results will be added to previous years’ results publicly available on the Bee Informed Partnership’s website.

Media Relations Contact: Matthew Wright, 301-405-9267, mewright@umd.edu
University of Maryland
College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
2300 Symons Hall
College Park, MD 20742
www.cmns.umd.edu
@UMDscience

About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences


The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 7,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college’s 10 departments and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $150 million.

Written By: The Bee Informed Team

has written 58 post in this blog.

The Bee Informed Partnership is a collaboration of efforts across the country from some of the leading research labs and universities in agriculture and science to better understand honey bee declines in the United States. Supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, we’re working with beekeepers to better understand how we can keep healthier bees. The key to our success is the true partnership we maintain across a wide range of disciplines including traditional honey bee science, economics, statistics, and medical research that makes all these tools available to this important research. And just as important as the tools are the people. We not only have the leading researchers in the honey bee industry, we also have advisory boards from the commercial beekeeping industries, almond and other commercial growers, as well as naturalists and conservationists from across the country.

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399 Responses to “Nation’s Beekeepers Lost 44 Percent of Bees in 2015-16”

  1. Dan J Hauck

    “Many backyard beekeepers don’t have any varroa control strategies in place. We think this results in colonies collapsing and spreading mites to neighboring colonies that are otherwise well-managed for mites,” said Nathalie Steinhauer

    I believe she is correct. I also think that if the backyard beekeepers would buy treatment free honeybees, which are hardy for the climate of the colony location, mites will not be an issue. Maybe if we stop buying bees from those who are propagating weak genetics, the bees can take care of themselves as they have done for centuries. Maybe the best bee management, is the bees themselves.

  2. Frank Linton

    As I understand the report, beekeepers, on average, report a 44% colony loss. That does not mean that 44% of the colonies are lost. If beekeepers with many colonies have fewer losses, the percent of colonies lost could be much smaller. I’d also like to see the percent loss obtained when calculating it like this: (total colonies lost)/(total colonies reported).

  3. Larry Crosby

    Many backyard beekeepers don’t have any varroa control strategies in place. We think this results in colonies collapsing and spreading mites to neighboring colonies that are otherwise well-managed for mites,” said Nathalie Steinhauer, a graduate student in the UMD Department of Entomology who leads the data collection efforts for the annual survey. “We are seeing more evidence to suggest that good beekeepers who take the right steps to control mites are losing colonies in this way, through no fault of their own.”

    I disagree.
    If you treat for mites or have to treat for mites then we are propagating weakness to a fault.Survivor genetics, applied in the beginning would have solved the varroa problems . The varroa as a vector for disease is a viable problem. There are commercial bee keepers that no longer treat for varroa at all.The colonies manage themselves.

  4. Jesse-WY

    I agree with you Mr. Crosby, I don’t treat for varroa and I had zero losses. I use small cells and just feed them a little in the spring. I do checks regularly to look for mites haven’t seen any in my colonies for quite some time but it sounds like I might be a rarity.

  5. Critterpaparazzi

    When are we going to stop Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Dow and friends from poisoning humans, bees and the entire world? The conspiracy that protects these entities includes the FDA, the USDA, lobbyists and the companies themselves. However, until we the people stop these bad actors, we, too, are part of this conspiracy. We must change this, NOW.

  6. Vasillios

    “Many backyard beekeepers don’t have any varroa control strategies in place. We think this results in colonies collapsing and spreading mites to neighboring colonies that are otherwise well-managed for mites.” This is nonsense most colonies collapse in the middle of winter so there is no way that mites are spreading to well managed colonies. Managed colonies are checked and treated in the fall. Another attempt by the USDA and EPA to send beekeepers and scientist on a wild goose chase and provide cover for Bayer and Syngenta and the Neonicotinoid neurotoxins they produce that are applied on millions of acres across the US mostly in the form of seed treatments on corn and soy, water soluble compounds that are being detected in rivers and streams across the Midwest!

  7. ralphiel

    sounds great, Dan; where can we buy “treatment free honeybees” so that “mites will not be an issue?”

  8. Jgury

    More importantly, the industry needs these bees to meet the growing demand…” More importantly? I could give a damn about what the industry needs. More importantly is what this means for the overall environment where we can’t keep bees alive and the implications for all pollinators, how about that for a more importantly.

    And this is total bs:

    “”Many backyard beekeepers don’t have any varroa control strategies in place. We think this results in colonies collapsing and spreading mites to neighboring colonies that are otherwise well-managed for mites,” said Nathalie Steinhauer, a graduate student in the UMD Department of Entomology who leads the data collection efforts for the annual survey. “We are seeing more evidence to suggest that good beekeepers who take the right steps to control mites are losing colonies in this way, through no fault of their own.

  9. Nick

    That’s exactly what it means if three beekeepers had 100 hives each and they each reported 44% loss each beekeeper lost 44 hives. 44 x 3 = 132 which is 44% of 300. 5,700 beekeepers from 48 states is a good sample. I don’t understand your math.

  10. Frank Linton

    If every beekeeper has the same number of hives, no problem.
    Suppose I have 100 hives and you have 1. And that I lose 10% and you lose 100%. Average: 55%. However: 11 losses /101 hives = 10.9% loss.

  11. NeoNick

    You are wringing your hands about 44% colony loss and pointing fingers at Varroa and viruses …but nowhere do you mention the building peer-reviewed evidence showing that these factors have become a problem now BECAUSE of ubiquitous exposure to pesticides (neonics, fungicides, and their synergistic actions) weakening immunity and altering behavior… you should rename yourself the Bee-(Mis)Informed Partnership.

  12. Nick

    The samples were taken from professional beekeepers with more than one hive your 10.9% loss and my 100% loss will be averaged in with the losses of the other 5,698 beekeepers. Convert percent to decimal add quantities divide by sample size and convert back to percent. 100% loss here 10.9% loss there doesn’t matter.

  13. Billiard

    What a specious report. Blaming the smallest segment of the beekeeping community for the failure of the entire industry is crazy. vanEngelsdorp and Steinhauer want to blatantly shoulder all the problems on treatment-free beekeepers, meanwhile they have ZERO evidence that mites are somehow miraculously filing out into the environment from untreated hives and invading uninfected hives and killing them all over the world…REALLY? VanEngelsdorp also promotes artificial diets as similar to natural forage. Artificial diets are causing massive hive failures and queen events all over the USA due to poor nutrition, yet the majority of beekeepers use tons of soy pollen subs and sugar syrups thinking they are giving their bees good food. As for the treatments, we still have hardly any data to conclude that we aren’t doing more harm than good. Lets keep in mind that the majority of commercial migratory beekeepers are treating all year round and yet still lose a high percentage of their colonies. Packaged bees and nucs are MORE likely to be spreading mites than any stationary apiary. Our apiary is very healthy and hasn’t received treatments for 7 years and our loss rates are below 20% over the 7 year average. I am terribly disappointed by VanEngelsdorp and his cowardice to try and divide the beekeeping community by making unsubstantiated claims that the treatment-free beekeeping community is to blame for the rest of the industry’s failures….SHAME ON VanEngelsdorp!!!!!

  14. Dan J Hauck

    Try Gold Star Honeybees. There are many other sources. It is best to buy local survivor stock if possible.

  15. ralphiel

    Looking at the Gold Star honeybee site, they are a mix of genetics (“mutts”), so it seems the only difference with them is that the folks at Gold Star have not treated them? Does not treating them make them not require treatment?

  16. Dan J Hauck

    Maybe. There are many successful treatment free beekeepers. If you don’t believe there are honeybees that can survive without treatment, I would respect your opinion. I have heard from people across the country that tell me otherwise.

  17. Billiard

    Completely agree with you. Chemicals are having huge consequences and only the blind can’t see this.

  18. ralphiel

    Like I said, buying treatment free bees so mites are not an issue sounds great. Makes it sound easy. I’m just wanting to learn how, that’s why I’m asking.

  19. Dan J Hauck

    Sorry if I made it sound easy. I wish it was. We can ask the apiaries what treatments/chemicals they are using prior to buying bees/queens from them. In my opinion, this is an important step in changing the current model. The source I gave you appears to be a legit treatment free source. I look local treatment free bees and roll the dice on genetics. Good luck Raphiel!

  20. Debbie

    Here we go blaming again when an expert researches and tells the truth. But you all no better with a conspiracy theory. Trust and believe the big corps aren’t killing you or bees.

  21. Debbie

    And you are all peer reviewed experts? Don’t trust FDA, USDA, the conspiracy theories cause you know better? Soy & corn really. Check toxic organic Chems.

  22. Critterpaparazzi

    If I have the choice between food that’s been exposed to pesticides and herbicides and food without such exposures I’ll go with the latter every time thank you. Any smart person would do the same. Those substances kill living organisms. To think they have no effects on human cell structures is simply naive. If you don’t mind poisoning yourself with your own naïveté go right ahead. Not for me!

  23. Nathan Rice

    Such a sad situation – consumers should be looking directly at #Monsanto #Bayer and #Dow – though they continue to weave stories saying they are not responsible …

  24. Debbie

    What foods do you go with?
    If you mean only organic they use many these chemicals toxic to bees. Bees are actually doing well. So what to eat? Who to trust?

  25. Critterpaparazzi

    You must be living under a rock Debbie because bees and other pollinators are not doing well at all. Read the news is my recommendation to you. And even if there are exposures to some chemicals with organic foods, it is still less than non-organic.

    The only reason a person would not mind or recommend non-organic foods is if you are in some way profiting from them or the chemicals used in their production.

  26. FLYFX

    100% pesticides and Monsanto would never admit to this because it would endanger their profits OR their lies and schemes to dupe the human race.

  27. Ivan Mire Swan

    Wow, a dash of ignorance, a sprinkle of misinformation and a wallop of shill accusation, you have just baked a perfect cake of I don’t know what the fuck I am talking about. Go post some david avacado wolfe memes and stay in the natural health news kiddie pool.

  28. Fred

    Actully they do, “. Pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also likely taking a toll, especially among commercial beekeepers.”

  29. Ree

    Neonicotinoids are so evil. Sure, they’re effective, but for the wrong reason. They’re just about as deadly as other pesticides, but bees are actually drawn to them, meaning they seek out the poison that kills them. Thus collapsing their population.

  30. Critterpaparazzi

    And you can continue to poison yourself with nonorganic food and contaminated water while you watch the $$ roll in lol!!!!

  31. Michael Anthony

    someone posted this seemingly intelligent response on Reddit. Anyone have thoughts? –

    I’m not the best at math, but can someone explain to me this. From April 2014-April 2015 42% of Bee colonies died. Right? – See first link below. If true then also add in that now they also say that 46% of Bee hives died from April 2015 to April 2016. If true, that means what – 80% of bees are now dead already? How are we losing 42-46% every year or is it all propaganda for a purpose yet again to scare us all. ????? They said the same nonsense in 2013. Hmmmm – 42-46% of bees dead each year for many many years now means that what – we have 4 or 5 bees left on earth? Come on fake scientists. People are getting sick of this nonsense. See links below for die offs going back many years – now to ANY logical person we all smell some rat. How can we lose 30, 40, 50 plus percent of bees every year unless it is NORMAL for them to die out every winter? Unless it is all BS, or in fact there are only 2 bees left on earth. Surely the percentages of bees left from 2010 have to be less than 1% left alive if this is real in any way.

    (2014 die off) http://www.cbsnews.com/news/40-percent-of-u-s-bee-colonies-died-in-past-year/ (2015 die off) http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/11/bee-colony-deaths-environmental-problems

    (2012 die off) http://www.wired.com/2013/05/winter-honeybee-losses/ (2011 die off) https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home_garden/as-bee-colonies-die-beekeepers-face-challengefinding-replacements/2011/05/26/AG66BLGH_story.html (2010 Die off) http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2011/110523.htm

    Wow – the more I go back and do a simple google for bee dies offs 2010, and 2011 and 2012 and so on shows the same results yearly forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Funny is it not that EVERY year we seem to lose 40% of bees – its almost like clockwork. WOW. Lets c lose down all industries, stop freedom in its tracks, the bees might die off this year – maybe we lose another 40%! OMG not again…. is it another 40% after losing 44% last year, 42% the year before 40% the year before, 40 the year before that and 40% the year before that? Seriously – how many bees are left on earth? I see them everywhere – Honey is not selling for $4,983 an ounce – is this is propaganda by the bee/honey industry so that we pay more at the supermarket – what’s the cause of this idiocy year after year. Surely its not pesticides as claimed since 2008. What is it then?

  32. Kevin Schmidt

    Thanks for implying that toxic chemicals are indeed toxic. We need to eliminate all of them from our foods. Then all foods can be truly organic again.

  33. Kevin Schmidt

    Dozens of countries are banning GMOs and glyphosate. This proves those “expert researchers,” as you call them, are not really experts at all, unless you consider them experts at pulling the wool over people’s eyes with junk science.

  34. Kevin Schmidt

    Thanks for admitting you don’t know what you are talking about, but we knew that already.

  35. Boet

    Organic farming uses pesticides and herbicides too, but they’re more than often of a higher toxicity, poorly regulated, have a slower breakdown rate and leave higher residual levels than “no-n organic” variants. Besides, if you’re talking about toxicity without mentioning dosage levels then you don’t know what toxic means.

  36. Boet

    Dozens of countries have banned cannabis and homosexuality too. I guess those must also be evil.

  37. Critterpaparazzi

    I don’t want ANY pesticide or herbicide metabolites in my food or water. If you like them, eat and drink away!

  38. Michael DeSantis

    Did you even read Boet’s post? The point is that ALL human-grown food has pesticides on it, unless you grew it yourself in a controlled garden plot. “Organic” farmers use pesticides too, and as Boet said, they often have a higher toxicity rating. You probably don’t want to believe that this is true… but it is.

    Also, as Boet said, you clearly do not understand toxicity at all. Literally every substance has a toxicity rating. You can die from drinking too much water. Yes, that’s correct, water is toxic *at a certain concentration*, but harmless below that concentration… just like everything else.

    You also clearly do not understand anything about biology if you think that because a specific chemical kills one organism, it must be harmful to all organisms. Did you know that some organisms are able to metabolize organo-mercury? It’s food for them, but it’s *highly* toxic for animals. Still other organisms can do things like breath ferrous iron (just like we breath oxygen), which, I hope is obvious, would be incredibly deadly for us. Going further, every single plant on the face of the earth manufactures powerful toxins that defend them against herbivores. You are able to eat the plants that you eat because they don’t manufacture defenses that affect humans, but any time you eat a leafy green you can be sure you are chowing down on some chemical that would be lethal to some herbivore. Another good, well-known example is glyphosate, which specifically inhibits the Shikimate pathway for aromatic amino acid synthesis. Guess what… humans don’t have aromatic synthesis pathways! We have to obtain aromatic amino acids from our diet. This is why glyphosate is highly toxic to plants, but has an extremely low toxicity rating for humans. Coffee is literally more toxic than glyphosate, by well over a factor of ten. Whether or not glyphosate is carcinogenic is not yet settled, but most of the research indicates that it is not. Still, more research is still needed on that particular topic. All of these facts constitute a *very small* list of examples illustrating why your ideas around toxicity and biological interactions display striking ignorance.

    Please stop making nonsense statements on issues about which you clearly have no knowledge. Not everything in this world is intuitive, and just because you *feel* like something is scary (because you don’t understand it), doesn’t mean it actually is. Scientists like me live to understand these things and share our knowledge with the world. You ignore scientific knowledge at your own intellectual peril. Please, come join us in the modern age where real knowledge of things is available for those willing to learn and abandon their preconceived prejudices.

    http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/06/the_biggest_myth_about_organic_farming.html

    https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html

    https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/12/07/myth-busting-on-pesticides-despite-demonization-organic-farmers-widely-use-them/

    http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/pesticide/hgic2756.html

  39. Michael DeSantis

    You have just committed a flagrant Ad Populum fallacy. Based on this, I do not believe you are qualified to assess whether or not something is “Junk science”, since you don’t seem to know how to craft a cogent argument. You are probably used to dealing in opinions as your primary intellectual coinage, but this is not legal tender in the sphere of science and rational thought.

  40. Dan J Hauck

    In my opinion this sounds like another bad idea. There around 160 types of mites, and thousands of microbes living with bees. What are the unintended consequences of using heat treatment? There is a strong temptation to look at honeybees as just another farm animal or pet that needs medicine. Nature will have the weak weak bees die and the strong survive.

  41. Michael DeSantis

    May I assume that you are able to read ingredient labels, and use Google search? Information surrounding what goes in to our food is abundant, including whether or not it’s GMO. No one is denying you your right to know what you’re eating. You’re just not doing the necessary footwork. Maybe you should just take the realistic stance that one simply needs to put effort into researching the food you eat rather than believing that the lack of a giant red “GMO INSIDE!!!!” label is tantamount to secrecy. It is not. Certain kinds of labeling has never been required, because it is unnecessary or redundant, and adds unneeded costs and regulatory hurdles to an already inefficient food-packaging process. For example, food is not required to be labeled as containing cockroach or rat parts, because general safety guidelines already protect us from this. We don’t need to be reminded that we eat cockroaches and rats on a regular basis as part of our food, because it’s irrelevant if the % is kept below safety standards. And since GMO foods are literally exactly like other food (if you trust those pesky biologists and their PhD.’s, anyway), then labeling those foods only serves to play off people’s irrational fears in order to shift market share from one giant agribusiness to another.

    Let’s be very clear. Despite hyperbolic anti-GMO activist dogma to the contrary, Monsanto does not hide any of their products. And even if you don’t believe the comprehensive list of products on their own website, you can find any number of independent “BOYCOTT THESE PRODUCTS” lists posted around the internet. But I can guarantee you that Monsanto’s own product list will be more comprehensive, because usually those boycott lists are built using Monsanto’s published lists as a starting point. You see… Monsanto is in the business of selling their products, so it’s not really in their best interest to keep them secret. I know, I know… it feels really good when you think you’re fighting a just cause and it’s hard to give that feeling up, especially when you’ve internalized those ideas as part of your own personality. But you’re on the wrong side of history here. Transgenic food is probably going to save us from our own short-sighted alteration of the climate and reduction of global biological diversity. Your crusade against all things GMO is deeply misguided. But not everyone would agree with me. I’m sure the monster agribusiness of Wholefoods thanks you for your zealotry in support of their profit-motivated GMO-labeling lobbying effort.

  42. Joseph W Salthouse

    Probably GMO caused mis_blamed on pesticides

  43. Boet

    What are your views on dihydrogen monoxide? You’ll find that in all organic farm produce and that chemical is even used as a coolant in nuclear reactors.

  44. Nick

    It’s called splitting a procedure that is expensive and unsustainable. That’s why many professional beekeepers are going out of business.

  45. DJ

    I have a question: When the article say that bee keepers lose a percentage of their colonies, is that referring to whole colonies (i.e. four entire hives/colonies out of ten failing) or the number of indivudual bees within a hive/colony (i.e. 400 out of 1,000 total bees)?

  46. DJ

    You should realize that most plants growing today, including pretty much all our food, naturally produce their own pesticides to try and ward off predators in amounts 100 times greater than anything humans apply. We just apply a little extra to ward off the bugs that have learned to eat around a plant’s natural defenses. So if you’re eating vegetables, you’re eating pesticides whether they were sprayed with anything or not.

  47. PatM

    Catch a feral swarm near where you live. I am not claiming this will help with varroa, just saying that this is the way to get treatment-free honeybees.

  48. ralphiel

    sounds great, Pat; when I see a swarm of bees near where I live, how do I determine if it’s a feral swarm, or a swarm from someone’s apiary?

  49. Asen Mitev from Bulgaria

    My farm consisted of 70 bee colonies. 3 years apply nav method of controlling varroasis and this method is extremely inexpensive and highly effective. Does not require applying any chemicals, and use natural preferences of the tick to a lower temperature and wider cell. For these three years I have not had loss of any royal family in the summer.

  50. DoubtingThomas

    The bee people are being told by the entymologists its the farm pesticides, and the farmers are being told that application of pesticides as directed, poses no threat to the bees. No mention in this article about the ongoing global weather modification programs. My awareness of climate engineering, also known as geoengineering, began about four years ago. Concerned about the persistent haze in the air, I called the county EPA office. We talked about geoengineering, I was told aircraft related emissions are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA dismissed me as misinformed, and directed me to the Department of Defense when I used the word, “chemtrail.” Geoengineering creates climate changes by definition. Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering and Solar Radiation Management describes the dispersal of nano-particulates at high elevations by jet aircraft, this is visible in the sky as persistent sprayed particulate trails that criss-cross the sky from horizon to horizon, that slowly dissipate, leaving a silvery haze in the sky. There are hundreds of patents, government documents, congressional hearings and reports, and research papers about geoengineering and its possible applications; as well as, the ethics of spraying the earth with hundreds of thousands of pounds of aluminum, barium, and strontium each year. The aerosols are coming all the way down to the ground, every breath we take is contaminated with toxic nano-particulates. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction right now, the smallest and weakest will succumb first. Yes, the pesticides are killing bees, and wildlife habitat. We are literally being sprayed like bugs, and the government agencies that are supposed to protect and regulate this kind of industry remain silent. (Gag order) An Indiana park ranger admitted to me that he was ordered not to initiate any conversation on this topic, and that people weren’t being told because they would panic. Indeed. Do your own research, find out about geoengineering. If you object to being poisoned, now is the time to speak up.

  51. rfr

    Well I started out with 2 nucs from wildflower meadows last March 2015 those 2 nucs are now 18 3 deep hives. I’m in palos verdes ca so they have year round forage. For mites I treated formic acid 2x. It’s end of May 2016 and I just pulled a full deep of honey from each on average and more is still coming. As far as I can tell the whole area is pesticide free. The canyon below the house has at least 13 plus wild hives in rock crevices in a 1/2 mile stretch. also.

  52. notsocrazycatlady

    People are also bathing and swimming in it, plus drink gallons of it a year.

    if you listen to the experts it is a necessary evil );)

  53. lizsalander

    A hive loss is the loss of a colony; not a percentage of bees in the colony. Worker bees only live about 35 days during the season; the queen lays from early spring through the fall to produce the constant supply of workers needed to forage all season and then form the cluster to survive winter. So, if I have 20 hives and report a 10% colony loss, I am saying that I have lost 2 of my hives – the entire population of bees in 2 hives – meaning, to get back to having 20 hives, I have to either split a healthy colony, or purchase bees (package or Nucleus colony).

  54. NoNoise

    Find the truth. Watch the video Fork over Knives and some of the other video’s. The show the government officials and even the Supreme Court justice was in bed with Monsanto. They were on their board before and/or after their government jobs. There is so much coverup with Monsanto that you would not believe it until you see the videos. Unbelievable government coverup and votes in favor of Monsanto for favors.

  55. Schizno

    Bees breed and make more bees, breeders breed and make more bees, people buy new colonies every year, others split hives to make new colonies. I think you’re missing a key detail in your diatribe.

  56. Olive Oyle

    I am convinced mankind is the nemesis to nature. I’ve no doubt man made synthetic & processed chemicals are a large factor, not to mention the over industrialized honey production industry itself. Bees are polluted and overworked, tired, stressed, and generally unhealthy. The more man has their hands in things, the worse those things keep getting. Mankind is a super-predator…not just in terms of hunting, but in terms of all activities. Our soils, waters, and air are becoming increasingly polluted, leading to greatly stressed environments for all nature.

    Mankind has a way of corrupting everything, from food, to resources, to religion, to government, to nature (watch, even “green” energy technology will prove to be a major disaster in the future)….and everything else. Mankind think they are so evolved, and so much more advanced and better than all other species, yet they are enemy to all that is good and sustainable.

  57. Blkqwn7

    I have to write that I agree with NeoNick here. I am not an expert of any sort at insects and the environment, but I do garden and have done so all of my life. I do not see bees! Last year I barely could water my cucumber plants they had so many bees surrounding them, where I had to get to my garden very early in the morning because of all of the bees, but this year I have seen but maybe one or two bees in my vegetable garden! I also garden flowers and my large sized Cana Lilies usually draw bees as I water them each morning, but I haven’t seen one bee swoop down! It’s really scary! Thanks to the ants my cucumbers were pollinated or I would have had to go out and hand-pollinate each morning, which is a lot of work on top of everything else I do.

    One week I walked to pickup my grandchildren from school and my granddaughter looked down at the ground by an apartment complex we pass by, and said, ‘Look Nana at all these dead bees!’ There were a whole lot of them, as if someone had sprayed intentionally trying to kill them! I agree, it’s pesticides, chemicals and things we are doing more than viruses! I have been around for a long time and have never seen anything like this and each year keeps getting worse and worse!

  58. drew_o

    No bees or butterflies (or moths or mosquitos in the evening) around my Tucson yard for the first summer in the seven years I’ve lived here. No bats either at dusk since they have no insect food. Night lights that previously attracted swarms of bugs show no activity. I’ve seen about three butterflies all summer. It’s the year without insects here in the Tucson area—a few other folks in the area have reported the same thing. But local news has so far not caught on.

  59. Blkqwn7

    Only those of us who are still connected to nature and the earth seems to notice these things, by the time others notice I am afraid it will be too late, because all of this have a meaning and I don’t believe any of it is good for the earth, man or anything on the earth.

  60. Nature Lover

    Wow. That can’t be good. Have you talked to any expert in the area? University? Are they aware?

  61. Nature Lover

    What prevents the almond growers from raising their own bees and keep them there, or contracting someone? Wouldn’t going organic and diversifing crops so the bees can be happy all year long and not have to be transported from place to place help in the short term? Less exposure to toxins and other hives?

  62. Guest

    I am so disheartened about the bees dying. In an effort to protect my rose bushes from caterpillars and beetles, I used Bayer product. The hedge bush aside the roses I wouldn’t even trim as generally many, many bees fed on the flowers and I wanted them to have plenty of white flowers to go to. The huge bush shadowed two of the rose bushes, but I was thinking of the bees. Now, I’ve learned the bees in orchards have diminished greatly because of this pesticide and of course there are no bees at this bush in my yard. Just can’t win. Please notice in your yard if this has happened and spread the word about these pesticide companies.

  63. krypton

    Do you think that without pesticides there be be enough food harvetsed to feed the populous??

  64. CDB

    Can we not be kinder and more respectful in our endeavor to save bees here? I am a backyard beekeeper, but I wasn’t offended by this article. We’re carefully monitoring our hive and employing both essential oils and “mainstream” Varroa mite control efforts. We want to do all we can to save bees here like the rest of you. Learn what you can to improve what you’re doing, then give your own professional opinion in a kind and professional way. We can do this!

  65. Kevin Schmidt

    It is proven that organic farming provides better yields than factory farming.

  66. Charity K.

    Please! Insight not only comes from logic or mathematics. It also comes from intuition and inspiration. Even Einstein said “All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge. I believe in intuition and inspiration…. At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason.” So you are being just as one-sided as Critter. Maybe you are the one who “clearly does not understand anything…” And yes I understand that assumptions garnered from intuition have to then be proven, but please don’t be so quick to write someone off. After all, you scientist used to believe that it was perfectly fine to prescribe mercurial and laudanum to people.

  67. michael martin

    I curently run 36 hives and added one this summer from a large swarm i removed from the back of our county court house. It was s full 10 frame box of bees no evidance of were they came from. I am working a theory of this issue of hive diseases, there is some coralition between what was intrduced & the time it would take the chemicls to build up in the hive. I have had a great year in honey, brood building, hive development. To the point i will require more equiptment. I want to test my hypothesis before release. Some of what we think is incorrect it is just an easy way for the bee keeper to get out of extra labor. Just like a partnership it takes a lot of work to keep going

  68. DoubtingThomas

    Pesticides and industrial agriculture, chemtrail fallout and EMFs all are major forces driving the sixth mass extinction on earth, almost 300 species per day. It’s logical that the smallest are the most vulnerable, and the first to succumb. As natural immune systems are compromised, diseases prevail. The diseases are symptoms of a problem.

  69. Louise McFarland

    Hi there can you please tell me this article was uploaded by and the date and i am writing an added value unit in my fourth year at school in my nat 5 exam and it is a whole 20% great if you could, thanks again

  70. Aaron Young

    Actually the article does mention pesticides particularly in the 5th paragraph, “Pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also likely taking a toll, especially among commercial beekeepers.”

  71. JStock

    That’s what caught my eye and eventually cost me a few minutes of my life. I’ve heard much speculation for years and now apparently those of us with backyard hives in areas where there are no pesticides (and no mites as of yet) could be causing a buildup of mites which invade neighboring hives? Doesn’t it stand to reason that
    a.) if mites went from untreated hives to treated hives then the treatment would kill them?
    b.) if mites were building up in the untreated hives, would they not kill those hives and therefore not be available for this migration?
    Any flaw in a mechanical system will manifest itself if the system is under load (like a car that idles fine, then miss-fires on the hwy). I think we are seeing a series of things and throwing bandaids on symptoms rather than any change to root behaviors.
    1. Pesticides: sure they are an issue for any living thing. As a general rule, I don’t like ingesting anything whose chemical name cannot be said with a single breath. That said, for the person writing that “organic” methods produce more abundant crops, I don’t even know a nice way to put this, but if this were so, then huge agri-business wouldn’t be using pesticides.
    2. Cell sizes: foundation comb is larger than in nature which definitely gives room for mites where they like to strike (larvae). We still have feral bees in the mountains of TN that have been prospering in trees for generations
    3. Mites: of course parasites are, by nature, destructive to any system, but I feel they are probably the final 3 nails on the coffin of hives that are stressed by many other factors.
    In summary: Bee hives can be split, propagated and ramped-up in a hurry. I think major beekeepers will continue doing this until it doesn’t work anymore. One man’s opinion.

  72. Louis

    Same problem here. Very few bees on my roses and vegetable garden. Every year there are wasp and bee nests on the soffits of the buildings on my property and flying around the wood fences. Not one nest this year. We reside in upstate NY near the Hudson River not too far from VT border. I am surrounded by 70 acres west ( corn planted) and 190 acres north ( again corn) . It has to be the neonics. It weakens their immunity. Never seen anything like this. The local apple orchard has to bring in bees. I understand it is banned in Europe( neonics)(Bayer, Monsanto responsible for some of the studies, I wonder which side they’re on). Friends of the Earth, BeeAction.org has a list of the popular brands neonics hide in ( very long, dozens) and a list of bee friendly plants. It is an outrage that we have to search for plants not already contaminated.They need untreated starts with untreated seeds. This is a major threat to our food supply. One of many problems our animal and plant kingdom is severely threatened with.

  73. Blkqwn7

    Good, you see the connection! Not many can figure out the simple logic that living near a large body of land, which is used for farming or gardening by those who focus on profit instead of land preservation causes problems for us all. Those of us who are connected with nature and are gardening notice changes right away! I read that the experts on bees advised people who were spraying for Zika or big farmers such as Monsanto to spray during hours where the bees are not so active to keep the masses of them alive, but they didn’t do it and as a result we lost a whole lot of bees! I pray this is reversible!

  74. Matt

    That is 100% false. It is much much harder to produce decent yields of crops that qualify as Organic. You should have a conversation with any farmer that has attempted to switch from traditional to organic farming. Most of them have stopped attempting to be an organic farmer as the expense and lost of production would ahve put them out of business.

  75. Kevin Schmidt

    You are 100% wrong. Just the cost of factory farming is more expensive than organic farming, which is why organic farming is growing by leaps and bounds.

    In addition, over time factory farming destroys top soil, creates carbon pollution, and creates runoff pollution. Plus, factory farming produces toxic food that shorten people’s lives.

    All of these hidden costs MUST be accounted for to provide a fair comparison.

    The results: To produce the same yield, organic farming is much cheaper than factory farming.

  76. Kate

    How do I get cheerios to send me some seeds I’d love to plant some

  77. Crystal

    They’ve exceeded their goal according to their website. I wanted to help too but looks like they’re all out.

  78. rachel

    can someone link me or help me find some peer reviewed sources???

  79. Kimberly smith

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  80. Jade

    What exactly is killing off the bees my family hive died off for a really weird reason they were every were and it was in winter.

  81. Jonathan Reali

    Do you know the definition of organic? Or do you just anything made by a big corporation and/or farm is bad for you just because you have nothing better to do and are angry about being wronged by said corporations?

  82. Jonathan Reali

    Where do you get your information? Shortens peoples lives. Yeah because its not like killing bacteria on food is bad or anything.

  83. Kevin Schmidt

    Unlike you, I get my information from real science. If you kill bacteria on food with processes that make the food more dangerous, then what is the point?
    Talk to you again in 3 months.

  84. Kevin Schmidt

    True. Your comment is incorrect.
    Talk to you again in 8 months!

  85. Kevin Schmidt

    Did you finally get paid to keep trolling the internet with big pharma propaganda? Is that why you waited a whole year to respond with your stupid comment? You project your own anger with nothing better to do.
    Now go back to sleep for another year.

  86. Katie

    Fighting like infants…so effective. My children go to time out for acting like this.

  87. Josh Bisher

    Look out of your window at your yard.. your neighbors yard.. Drive down the street house after house and see how few colorful flowers there are. Especially as the economy gets worst.

    It’s the fact that most people are filling their landscape up with shrubs and grass and no colorful flowers. Bee’s need the flowers you willfully mow down for navigation.

    The next time you go to rip tha goldenrod out becasue it make you sneeze.. consider the bees.

  88. Kevin Schmidt

    I’ve never done any of that. In my home town, there is an ongoing effort for people to plant edible gardens, regrade their properties to contain rain water in holding ponds, and to recycle gray water into the gardens.
    You could start a similar program in your community.

  89. Kevin Schmidt

    Then you should stop fighting like infants and post reasonable and rational comments like me.

  90. WhatsBlackYellowAndDeadAllOver

    For Christ’s sake people, grow up and put your big girl panties on! It’s like a bunch of two year olds fighting over whose story is true! My mother wouldn’t just turn over in her grave if I acted like this, she’d climb her stubborn corpse out of it to knock some sense and maturity into me. Remember your age and act like it.

  91. WhatsBlackYellowAndDeadAllOver

    What is the relevancy of your post to the discussion? I don’t see how this is relevant to anything here.

  92. ImmortalSinnerWiseDeadGirl

    Oh, well shucks, I guess I’ll just return to killing those bees, because we got a plan. No!!! Who gives a baboon’s bare behind, we still need the bees!!!! Unless those little robots are waterproof and can pollinate over five thousand flowers a day, and produce honey, its inventors can kiss a nun’s bum and try to get into her ninnies!!!

  93. jac

    I have been growing organic vegetables for over forty years & using organic toxins to keep insects at bay. Organic dose not always mean pure good stuff. Organic toxins can kill insect & people. Do you grow fruits,nuts & vegetables or are you just reading & posting what you Feel is right??

  94. Jade

    You know you can use a curry and I think a type of d=ground pepper too (Dry) to rid ants and insects from your plants to you know. My cousin used it for her strawberry plants she said it work really well

  95. Mike Dean

    I agree with you Kevin completely. Organic is the answer. The use of pesticides and its residue kills life in the soil and conventional farming depletes the soil, and in fact the nutritional value of the food drops as the nutrients in the soil are used up. With organic the soil is improved over time, the soil bacteria are not killed off but flourish, and all imputs into an organic farm must also be organic. Health soil, crops, bees, people. No toxic load on the soil, crops, bees & people. Also look up Permaculture as an alternative – The only reason we do not insist on organic is corporate money & propaganda. The ethic promoted by corporations is superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance; a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt! Basically it is Profit before People!

  96. Mike Dean

    Not sure where the bashing of organic farming comes from, but we know the pesticide and GMO companies have the money to spread the bullsh*t on organic – no money in organics for these profits before corporations. If corporations were democratized things would be a lot better for us all. You have to factor in the cost of using chemicals in growing crops and subsidies conventional farmers get which organic farmers don’t. You also have to factor in the benefit in health from organic. No poisonous residue, greater insect, soil, bird, and aquatic life etc! We are effectively killing the planet all because we want to make money! Also yield differences are highly contextual, depending on system and site characteristics, but we also know about 50% of crops are lost due to poor storage, and we ourselves throw tons of food away in our homes! Changes in storage would easily account for any lower yields to completely change to organic!