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Survey shows US honey bee deaths increased over last year

Breaking Earth News
A survey of bee health released Tuesday revealed a grim picture, with 36.1 percent of the nation's commercially managed hives lost since last year. Last year's survey found losses of about 32 percent. As beekeepers travel with their hives this spring to pollinate crops around the country, it's clear the insects are buckling under the weight of new diseases, pesticide drift and old enemies like the parasitic varroa mite. Bees are dying at unsustainable levels and the situation is not improving. "For two years in a row, we've sustained a substantial loss. That's an astonishing number. Imagine if one out of every three cows, or one out of every three chickens, were dying. That would raise a lot of alarm." About 29% of the deaths were due to Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious disease that causes adult bees to abandon their hives. Beekeepers who saw CCD in their hives were much more likely to have major losses than those who didn't. "What's frightening about CCD is that it's not predictable or understood."

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