The Situation

Honey bees support billions of dollars in U.S. and Canadian agriculture through pollination services. But today, a major decline in honey bee health has put agriculture, healthy lifestyles, and worldwide food security at risk.
U.S. overwintering losses for managed honey bees from 2007 to 2011 ranged from approximately 28-33%, compared to a historical rate of 10-15%.*
*Source: Survey data generated by USDA
This decline in bee health has been linked to a variety of factors, including those influenced by the activities associated with both beekeeping and crop production.

Factors That Affect Bee Health

  • Lack of Forage & Nutrition

    Pests and Disease

    Honey bees are under attack. Varroa mites, nosema, and viruses are killing honey bee colonies.

  • Lack of Forage & Nutrition

    Lack of Forage & Nutrition

    Lack of a varied diet – due to declining wild spaces and increased monocultures – have led to malnutrition.

  • Incidental Pesticide Exposure

    Incidental Pesticide Exposure

    Use of pesticide and other crop protection products can incidentally expose bees.

  • Lack of Genetic Diversity in Breeding

    Hive Management

    Management and selective breeding practices may reduce genetic diversity.