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article imageSlowdown in the rate of honeybee deaths

By Tim Sandle     May 24, 2014 in Environment
A new study shows fewer honeybees died over the winter than during the same season the preceding year. The rate of honeybees deaths has been an issue of ecological concern over the past few years.
Different types of bees, including honeybees, face a wide range of threats, as Digital Journal has previously reported. Some of these are human created, like agricultural chemicals, others are the result of natural pathogens. The implications of declining bee populations around the globe has significant implications for the pollination plants and agriculture. For example, without bees to spread pollen from the male parts of plants to the female parts, fruit may not form. According to a paper issued by the the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year, removing a single bee species can lead to a 30 percent drop-off in seed production for at least one plant species.
However, there is no some better news. There were nearly a quarter fewer honeybee deaths during the 2013-2014 winter than occurred during the previous winter, and deaths were “notably lower than the eight-year average total loss,” according to a survey from the Bee Informed Partnership.
Dennis vanEngelsdorp, a director of the partnership and an entomologist at the University of Maryland, told The New York Times: "It’s better than some of the years we’ve suffered." That said, vanEngelsdorp maintains that the rate of deaths remains too high and that it remains that one in four honeybees prematurely dies.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement: "While we’re glad to see improvement this year, losses are still too high and there is still much more work to be done to stabilize bee populations."
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