Bees In The U.S. Experienced The Smallest Winter Loss In 14 Years

Beekeepers have not been the happiest people in recent years with all of the loss taking place. This year, it seems as if they have something to smile about.

The annual beekeeping survey is out and it seems as if American honey bee colonies are doing quite well. They still had a loss, as they do every year, but it was less than average this winter, according to the Associated Press. 3,337 commercial beekeepers and backyard bee enthusiasts were considered in the study.

The survey takes place on an annual basis and this year it found that a 22.2% loss was what beekeepers in the United States experienced between October 1 and March 31. An average loss is at 28.6%.

In the winter of 2018-2019, a 37.7% loss of colonies was experienced. In the summer of 2019, the number drops slightly to 32%.

Now that the numbers have gone down last winter, it was the second smallest winter loss in the past 14 years according to the survey.

“It turned out to be a very good year,” Bee Informed Partnership scientific coordinator Nathalie Steinhauer told the AP.

Steinhauer said that the summer losses may be high numbers, but the winter losses are really what determines “the test of colony health.”

The higher death rates, however, may be part of “the new normal.”

Some beekeepers are now keeping their colonies indoors to keep them alive. Researchers have found that using a “cold storage” option helps the bees to stay alive in winter. Keith Delaplane is an entomologist with the University of Georgia, who talked about the benefits of cold storage.

The lower death rate is good news, but scientists are not getting their hopes up because the good seasons tend to be followed by bad seasons.

Since the death rate was lower in the winter, scientists still feel that the summer could be successful.

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!

Bees Need Your Help

The world cannot survive without bees, so we all must do our part to prevent them from going extinct. One of the ways you can help save the bees is by making your yard more bee-friendly.


Planting wildflowers is an easy way to help bees and add a bit of color to your garden. Bees love sunflowers, but consult with your local beekeeper for recommendations on the best flowers to plant in your area.

Once you have provided some food for the bees, consider adding a wooden bee house to your yard in a location that gets morning sun.

Photo: GreaterGood

We must come together to help preserve the most important species on the planet. With your help, we are planting pollen-rich wildflowers in areas devastated by natural disasters. Donate now to help save the bees!

Just like the bees, we’re busy trying to save the planet but can’t do it without your support. On World Bee Day, May 20, your generous gifts helped buy enough seeds to replant 578,000 sq. feet of habitat with wildflowers, so thank you!

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!