The USDA and EPA just rolled out their latest report on honey bee health and Colony Collapse Disorder. Highlights include:
Since 2006 an estimated 10 million bee hives at an approximate current value of $200 each have been lost and the total replacement cost of $2 billion dollars has been borne by the beekeepers alone.
Honey bee colonies have been dying at a rate of about 30 percent per year over the past few winters which leave virtually no cushion of bees for pollination.
Historically, the U.S. had as many as 6 million colonies in 1947, with declines since that time to about 4 million in 1970 and 3 million in 1990. Today's colony strength is about 2.5 million.
Pollination demands have increased in recent years such that a single crop, almonds in California, now require over 60 percent of all managed colonies.