honey bees

Max Bartlett / Northwest Public Radio

American honey bees don’t do well in winter. It's a serious problem for beekeepers. They experience their biggest losses during winter – and beekeepers lose about a third of their bees every year. We recently looked at efforts to help bees thrive by changing land management practices. Now, researchers at Washington State University and beekeepers in the state are working to help bees withstand the cold and survive the winter. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Forty-two percent of America’s honey bees died in 2014. On average, beekeepers lose about 30 percent of their colonies annually – a number seen since 2006. As a trend, the numbers look even worse. In the 1940s there were 5 million managed honey bee colonies. Today, there are half as many.