This study records the third consecutive year of high winter losses in managed honey bee colonies in the USA. Over the winter of 2008-9 an estimated 29 % of all US colonies died. Operations which pollinated Californian almond orchards over the survey period had lower average losses than those which did not. Beekeepers consider normal losses to be 17.6 %, and 57.9 % of all responding beekeepers suffered losses greater than that which they considered to be acceptable. The proportion of operations with the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) symptom of “no dead bees in the colony or apiary” decreased in this period as compared to the previous years. The proportion of colonies dying from apparently manageable conditions, however, such as starvation or a weak condition in the fall increased as compared to previous surveys.
Author(s): Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Jerry Hayes Jr, Robyn M Underwood, Jeffery S Pettis
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