Honeybee colonies on the decline in the U.S., report finds

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COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND — A nationwide U.S. survey has found that bee colonies are dying off due to harsh winters.

The report by Bee Informed Partnership, a non-profit group led by the University of Maryland, surveyed around 4,700 beekeepers managing around 320,000 bee colonies during the 2018 to 2019 winter season.

Researchers found that beekeepers lost an estimated 37.7 percent of honeybee colonies in the past year alone.

This is the highest number of winter losses recorded by the non-profit group for honey bees ever since they started 13 years ago.

Entomologists from the group told the Guardian that parasites such as varroa mites could be causing an increase in colony losses due to the viruses they carry.

Adding that, pesticides used to remove the mites seem to be becoming less effective.

Beekeepers have been making efforts to split healthy bee colonies in order to duplicate them, according to the newspaper.

Other problems beekeepers need to deal with include bees dying off due to disease, pesticide use and habitat loss.

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