Posted 5:25 PM 5/31/2012 : Survey: more honey bees surviving
TUCSON - According to a recent survey published by the USDA, one third more honey bees are alive today.
For the past five years, the honey bee population has been in the midst of a major decline, and beekeepers were asking why.
Nationwide, 30 to 36 percent of honey bee colonies were lost. This year, it's down to almost 22 percent.
Colony collapse, Africanized bee invasions...all part of the picture, but there was something else and the researchers at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center have been working hard to find answers.
Hop Guard Strops are part of the answer. Researchers said parasitic mites have been attacking honey bee colonies. Hop Guard Strips kill the mites without harming the bees.
"Essentially a product to control mites that's based on bi-products from brewing beer..." said Dr. Gloria DeGrande Hoffman, research leader at the center.
Keeping honey bees alive plays a major role in keeping us healthy which is why so much time and effort is spent on researching the bees.
"These plants that are pollinated by honey bees are really the core of our heart healthy diets and cancer prevention diets," said Hoffman.
The United States Department of Agriculture said bees affect a 15 billion dollar industry because of all of the fruits, vegetables and seeds they pollinate.
"And that's the very thing that we want to have on people's plates so that they have healthy meals," said Dr. Ann Bartuska from USDA.
The USDA said their organization and bee keepers will continue with the annual survey to document bee mortality.
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