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By Josh Woods
Beekeepers across the U.S. lost 43.7% of their managed honey bee colonies from April 2019 to April 2020, according to preliminary results of the 14th annual nationwide survey by the nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership (BIP).
It’s the second-highest loss rate the survey has recorded since it began in 2006 – 4.7 percentage points higher than the average annual loss rate of 39%.
The results highlight the cyclical nature of honey bee colony turnover. Although the high loss rate was driven by the highest summer losses ever reported, winter losses were markedly lower than in most years. As researchers learn more about what drives these cycles, the latest survey underscores the importance of the summer for beekeeper losses.
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