Study Identifies National Causes of Honey Bee Colony Loss

A study by Penn State researchers, published online in Scientific Reports, was the first to consider honey bee stressors on a national scale. The research findings show that honey bee colony loss in the United States over the last five years is primarily related to the presence of parasitic mites, extreme weather events, nearby pesticides, and challenges with overwintering. “A changing climate and high-profile extreme weather events like Hurricane Ian — which threatened about 15% of the nation’s bees that were in its path as well as their food sources — are important reminders that we urgently need to better understand the stressors that are driving honey bee colony collapse and to develop strategies to mitigate them,” said research team member Francesca Chiaromonte.