The Buzz about Bee Keeping

Updated: Jun 7




In the upcoming year, beekeepers will have to go the extra mile to make sure honey bee colonies are safe, healthy, and reproducing. The decline of bees throughout 2018 has caused the demand of honey exceeding supplies in some states, as well as an inevitable rise in the price of honey.

 

Bees have been on the decline since 2006, according to a report released by Greenpeace. Their studies also found the extinction of bees would affect the production of up to 75% of our crops. The University of California's research confirmed that bees are responsible for pollinating 87 of our leading crops worldwide. Naturally, their potential endangerment has affected the beekeeping industry, going into 2020. 


Beekeeping Events in 2020 in the South

This year kicked off with the American Beekeeping Federation Conference and Tradeshow, held in Schaumburg, Illinois from January 8th until January 11th. The convention hosted speakers covering the latest in beekeeping technology, care, progress within the industry, and any other relevant news.

The Latest National Honey Bee Colony Report

Released by the USDA in August of 2018, The latest Honeybee Colony Report found that honey bee colonies of five or more were slightly down in January of 2018 when compared to January of the previous year, 2017. Their report also found that the loss of 425 thousand honey bee colonies of five or more through the months of January to March in 2018. 

Varroa mites were the number one stressor, affecting over 50% of colonies over the past year. Symptoms of colony collapse disorder, the sudden mass disappearance of worker bees within a colony, were also up 15%. 


The Latest National Honey Report

The decline of honey bees has naturally affected the honey market in various states, further confirmed by the latest National Honey Report released by the USDA in November of 2018. Many regions throughout the United States also saw higher temperatures than usual and an increase in rainfall this autumn. 

Idaho, Utah, and Colorado are well below the historic annual average for honey crop harvest, although production in pounds of honey per colony rose sharply. 

The demand for honey in Minnesota continues to exceed its supply, with the wholesale price of honey averaging around $2.00 per pound. 


ABF Objectives

The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) has outlined their objectives for the upcoming year in a statement on their website. In 2020, the American Beekeeping Federation is determined to continue working against the adulteration of honey. They have also pledged to protect the production of honey, promote honey, provide financial assistance to beekeepers when possible, and continue to foster positive relationships within the industry. 





What's the Leading Causes of the Bees Population Decline?

Pesticides are the leading cause of the decline of bees, according to Greenpeace. Other causes include sickness due to parasites and diseases, starvation due to the effects of climate change on their sources of food, as well as the destruction of their natural habitats due to urbanization. 


Going Forward

Going forward, beekeepers will have to take the proper measures to ensure the safety, health, and continuation of our bee colonies. Avoiding pesticides and providing stable environments are at the foundation of prolonging and protecting our colonies. 


As a whole, beekeepers should follow and support the objectives of the American Beekeeping Federation, such as working against the adulteration of honey, promoting honey, and nurturing positive relationships within the industry. 


It should also be our goal to increase the number of honey bee colonies of five or more, keep production up, and decrease the loss of our colonies. View other


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