It might be easy to think honeybees are making a comeback, but that could be a mistake.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report last week that finds fewer bees dying from Colony Collapse Disorder, which they show has declined by 27% over the past year. They find the number of commercial bee colonies is up 3%.
Houston Beekeeper and founder of the Bee 2 Bee Honey Collective Nicole Buergers calls it misleading. “What the study says is that we’re not so concerned about Colony Collapse Disorder, which we’re not. We’re actually much more concerned about other factors,” she explains. Colony Collapse Disorder is defined as an American and European 21st century phenomenon in which workers bees disappear and leave a queen along to care for the hive and all immature bees. “They are dying off at a higher percentage year over year. But the actual population’s numbers remain pretty stagnant because beekeepers are splitting hives.” That actually can lead to weaker hives, she explains.
“Honeybees are dying off at a higher rate than previous years,” she says sternly. “Here is Houston we deal with a lot of pests, but we have two main ones: the Varroa Destructor Mite which is a mite that transmits diseases to bees, and we also have Small Hive Beetles.” If you want to help bees, an essential component of agriculture, Buergers advices planting flowers and avoiding the use of pesticides.