Saturday, May 21, 2005
As reported in the Springfield News-Leader (among many others), honeybee populations in the U.S. have been decimated by infestations of the Varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni). Nationwide, the number of hives are at about 50% of what they were a year ago, after a cold winter where the bees slowed down but the mites did not. Unfortunately the mites have evolved a resistance to the two main insecticides being used against them. Expect not only less honey, but fewer and more expensive fruits and vegetables in the supermarkets this season.
I've seen very few wild bees on hikes in Southern California this spring. This dispite a fantastic rain-driven wildfower season.
I didn't go out to do seriously do "bee hunting" bit I've kept an eye out, and seen one or two.
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