Friday, May 23, 2014

Honeybee population collapse continues: nearly one-quarter died over the winter; death rates 'unsustainable'

winter 

During the 2012-2013 winter season, US bee populations plummeted by nearly a third (30.5 percent), raising serious questions. How can key vegetable crops survive and reproduce long-term as the pollinators disappear? Why aren't pesticides being rigorously studied for the damage they do to honeybee immune systems and their role in disrupting ecosystems?

With less pollination activity taking place, crops like apples, almonds, watermelons and beans suffer the most. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA_ estimates that honeybee pollination adds up to $15 billion dollars to the agriculture sector in the US.

"More than three-fourths of the world's flowering plants rely on pollinators, such as bees, to reproduce, meaning pollinators help produce one out of every three bites of food Americans eat," the USDA said in a recent statement.

23.2 percent of honey bees die during 2013-2014 winter season
When the 2013-2014 nationwide honeybee survey was released this spring, new numbers showed a bleak and "unsustainable" trajectory. The USDA expected honeybee losses of 18.9 percent but found out in the new report that honeybee populations have dwindled another 23.2 percent over the winter alone.

The head of the USDA, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, commented on the study, which was conducted in partnership with the Apiary Inspectors of America and the Bee Informed Partnership:

"Pollinators, such as bees, birds and other insects are essential partners for farmers and ranchers and help produce much of our food supply. Healthy pollinator populations are critical to the continued economic well-being of agricultural producers. While we're glad to see improvement this year, losses are still too high and there is still much more work to be done to stabilize bee populations."

For the rest of the story: http://www.naturalnews.com/045248_colony_collapse_disorder_honeybees_death_rate.html

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