Here’s some news that should be sweet as honey to anyone who likes the sticky gold stuff – or really any fruits that rely on pollinators: the honeybee population seems to be on the rebound from Colony Collapse disorder. That’s the mysterious condition that’s been destroying honeybee colonies – and baffling scientists – for a decade.
The findings are part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey released this week. Losses to colony collapse are down 27 percent from 2016 for beekeeping operations with more than five colonies. But according to Kasie Raymann, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas’ Department of Integrative Biology, the work isn’t done yet. There’s still a lot to figure out – like what exactly was causing the Colony Collapse Disorder to begin with.
“The consensus so far is that theres so many factors contributing to the loss of colonies, that we still don’t fully understand the reasons for it,” she says. “Of course there’s been a lot of things proposed, the use of pesticides, climate change, loss of foraging habitat.”
However, Raymann says an increase in awareness and public interest has helped scientists preserve bee health.
“I’m cautiously optimistic about it,” Raymann says. “Of course, I’m very happy to hear there’s been a decrease in the loss of colonies, but I think that’s contributed in the most part to the awareness recently in the loss of honeybee colonies.”