08-08-2017 07:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Rise in honeybee population
The dwindling honeybee population was a cause of concern in North America and Europe as it is a critical component to agricultural production, but not anymore because according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture honey bee health survey, the number of US honeybees has increased in 2017.
Their decreasing count was attributed to a mysterious malady that affected their hives. The Agriculture Department reported that as of April 1, 2017, honey bee colonies rose 3 percent to 2.89 million.
Beekeepers rue that mites were harming the bee hives while pesticides and other factors also cause stress to bees. Tim May, a beekeeper in Harvard, Illinois and the vice-president of the American Beekeeping Federation based in Atlanta said that they check the hives for mites and keep the bees well fed. They also ask farmers not to spray pesticides when their hives are vulnerable.
Environmental groups had raised concerns about the decline in the population of pollinators, from wild bees to monarch butterflies. A study conducted by the USDA stated that beekeepers have reported the most losses from the varroa mite, a parasite that lives only in beehives and survives by sucking insect blood. The scourge that affected the bee hives came down to 42 percent from 53 percent last year.
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