Southern Region News Release Honey Bee Colonies 08.02.2019
January 1 Honey Bee Colonies Up 1 Percent for Operations with Five or More Colonies
Honey bee colonies for operations with five or more colonies in the United States on January 1, 2019, totaled 2.67 million colonies, up 1 percent from January 1, 2018. During 2018, honey bee colonies on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 were 2.64 million, 2.67 million, 2.96 million, and 2.87 million colonies, respectively.
Honey bee colonies lost for operations with five or more colonies from January through March 2019, was 408 thousand colonies, or 15 percent. During the quarter of October through December 2018, colonies lost totaled 445 thousand colonies, or 16 percent, the highest number lost of any quarter in 2018. The quarter in 2018 with the lowest number of colonies lost was April through June, with 355 thousand colonies lost, or 13 percent.
Varroa mites were the number one stressor for operations with five or more colonies during all quarters of 2018. The quarter of April through June 2018 had the highest percentage of colonies reported to be affected by varroa mites at 56.4 percent. The percent of colonies reported to be affected by varroa mites during January through March 2019 were 45.6 percent.
Southern Region and United States - Percent Colony Loss by Quarter: 2018 and 2019