The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports Indiana lost fewer honey bee colonies in the first quarter of this year than the first quarter of 2015, when the state lost 22-percent of its 9,500 colonies.
The Honey Bee Colony Loss Survey reports this year’s first quarter loss is 12-percent.
The survey also found that the primary reason for colony loss in Indiana changed from the first quarter of 2015 to 2016. In 2015, most colonies were lost due to natural damages. But in 2016 the primary reason reported was the Varroa mite—a parasite that is commonly blamed for colony collapse disorder.
This survey is the first national look at colony loss and colony health stressors by the USDA. Data is collected from farming operations that sell at least one thousand dollars’ worth of products.