NEW MEXICO (Stacker) — Honeybees’ annual contribution to the US economy is estimated at at least $15 billion. Beyond the profitable products and by-products harvested directly from bee colonies, such as honey, wax, propolis, and royal jelly, more than 90 different crops (about one-third of total U.S. crop production) are grown. , relying on these prolific pollinators. survival and prosperity.

Fresh flower honey of different varieties, pollen and honeycombs in spoons | Photo: Adobe Stock

A world without bees would be dark. With less food being consumed by humans, fewer varieties of fruits, vegetables and nuts remain, and the effects of their disappearance ripple through the food chain.

A dystopian future is far away, but bees are still threatened. Habitat loss, diseases such as colony collapse disorder, herbicides, pesticides, and parasites such as the aptly named Varroa destructor mite all contribute, often in unison, to high rates of colonization across the country. .

Between 2020 and 2021, beekeepers have lost about 45% of the bee colonies they manage. The expected or acceptable rate of colony turnover due to natural environmental factors such as winter weather is 20%. Stacker used the latest annual data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to compile statistics on New Mexico’s bee population.

According to the latest USDA data, colonies are down 22% so far in 2022. Beekeepers, researchers, and scientists have moved bees seasonally, given them sugar water when the flowers aren’t blooming to keep them from dying, and repaired or re-queen colonies when the queen died. We are taking great care to mitigate the loss of managed colonies by expanding or expanding existing colonies. to keep them healthy and productive. Still, Colony data shows little improvement year over year.

A dystopian world without bees is not imminent, but the fight to protect and thrive bees is a difficult one.

New Mexico honey bee population health:

  • Maximum total colonies from April to June 2022: 7,000
    — 27.3% increase from 2021, sixth largest increase nationwide
  • Lost Colony, April-June 2022: 1,600
    — 138.8% increase from 2021
  • Colonies added, April-June 2022: 4,200
    — 650.0% increase from 2021
  • Refurbished Colony, April-June 2022: 2,200
    — 4.3% decrease from 2021

States with the highest growth in bee colonies in 2021-2022:

  • No. 1 Missouri: +118.8%
  • 2nd Arkansas: +76.0%
  • No. 3 Louisiana: +48.3%
  • 4. Mississippi: +34.3%
  • 5. North Carolina: +30.4%

States with the most declines in bee colonies in 2021-2022:

  • 1st Kansas: 38.8% decrease
  • No. 2 Illinois: -26.9%
  • 3rd Wyoming: -23.3%
  • 4th Indiana: -23.1%
  • 5th Colorado: -22.0%

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