On May 20, the world will celebrate bees, one of the insects that most actively contributes to the global population's food security and nutrition, as 75% of the world's crops depend on pollinators like them. Some pollinators, such as bees, birds, and bats affect 35% of the world's agricultural production, having an influence on the production of 87 of the world's main food crops and of many medicines derived from plants.
Agricultural chemicals may be responsible for wiping out beehives in the Bay of Plenty, East Coast and Waikato. Scientists have found traces of neonicotinoid (also known as "neonics") insecticides in the soil at nine North Island sites more than a year after coated seeds were planted. They were all maize fields.
Alberta’s beekeeping industry is hoping for help from the province after consecutive years of rough weather has contributed to low honey crops and losses over winter. The past two winters have seen Alberta beekeepers taking a loss of $20 million, and this year’s cold, wet spring and summer saw 67 percent of beekeepers suffering crop losses of 50 percent or greater.
Spring is a busy time for honey producers. Throw in the destructive antics of some hungry bears and it can all add up to one giant and expensive nuisance. And this spring is no different than previous ones for one New Brunswick producer, except this year the marauding bears have been bringing along the family to sample the luscious, fresh honey.
Commercial honeybee colonies have had a rough run. And it’s not over yet. The annual loss rate for honeybees during the year ending in April rose to 40.7 percent, up slightly over the annual average of 38.7 percent, according to the Bee Informed Partnership, a nonprofit group associated with the University of Maryland.
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