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USDA pauses honey bee colony data collection

USDA cites fiscal constraints in announcing decision

July 12, 2019

2 Min Read

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will not collect quarterly data this month for the annual Honey Bee Colonies report, which is still scheduled for release Aug. 1 at 3 p.m. ET. The report will contain data from Jan. 1, 2018 to April 1, 2019.

The Honey Bee Colonies report allows the USDA, beekeepers, and other interested parties to compare quarterly losses, additions, and movements and to analyze the data on a state-by-state basis.

The decision to suspend data collection was not made lightly, but was necessary given available fiscal and program resources.

This change does not impact the annual Honey program; the latest Honey report was released May 16, 2019.

Source: USDA NASS, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

What others are saying:

The annual survey gathers data on the number of honeybees per state by quarter, including those being lost with symptoms of colony collapse disorder. It is at least the third bee-related dataset to be suspended under the Trump administration. – CNN

The decision eliminates a vital tool for monitoring how climate change and pesticides are reducing the number of bees worldwide. The Honey Bee Colonies report is one of the few remaining government sources tracking bees. The survey began in 2015. – The Hill

The annual loss rate for honeybees during the year ending in April rose to 40.7%, up from the annual average of 38.7%. In addition, the winter’s losses were 8.9 percentage points higher than the survey average and the highest winter loss since the annual bee survey, Bee Informed Partnership, began 13 years ago. – The Washington Post

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