Alachua County Beekeepers Struggle Against Mites (The St. Augustine Record)

Alachua County Beekeepers Struggle Against Mites

A recent national survey of beekeepers showed a significant loss rate of colonies, which may impact the future of commercial beekeeping.

The annual survey from the Bee Informed Partnership found that 37.7% of honeybee colonies died this past winter. This is about 9% higher than the average winter loss.

More than 4,700 beekeepers managing over 300,000 colonies participated in the survey.

Bees are especially vulnerable in the winter because they do not fare well in freezing temperatures, said Humberto Boncristiani, a honeybee husbandry researcher with the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory. But the presence of disease-spreading mites are potentially the greatest risk for local colonies.

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