AFP: Bitter winter spells trouble for US bee population.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – America's dwindling honey bee population has been badly hit by the bitter winter, the harshest in decades, with experts warning that winter losses could be as high as 50 percent.
Beekeepers normally lose around 10 percent of their colonies during the wintertime, when food stores are low and bees are confined to the hive.
But preliminary estimates indicate that this year, losses will be between 30 to 50 percent, said David Mendes, president of the American Beekeeping Federation.
"There are a lot of beekeepers who are in trouble" he said.
"Under normal condition you have 10 percent winter losses.. this year there are 30, 40 to 50 percent losses."
Winter figures showing the extent of the seasonal loss, are to be published in April.