P1013689smOld news, right? Well here’s something you may not be aware of. The actual number of bees in the country has not declined. That’s right. The actual number of honeybees in the country has not declined.  What has happened is that seasonal die-off numbers have gone up, especially in the summer, due at least in part to nicotinoids, a pesticide produced by Bayer, but also to a number of other factors.  What is rarely reported is that despite the increased die-offs, beekeepers have compensated by starting new colonies with new queens at a higher rate.  This does not discount the danger of bee loss.  This compensation can not be sustained, either economically or even biologically, as die-off rates have steadily increased.  It does mean it isn’t too late, however.  We can still curb the use of nicotinoids, protect habitat, and fund research to find ways to combat the mites and viruses that are also killing bees.  In the meantime, beekeepers are taking up the slack, but it is very expensive.