Lincoln, NE – Honey bee colonies for operations with five or more colonies in Nebraska as of January 1, 2016 totaled 10.5 thousand. This is 5 percent above the 10.0 thousand colonies on January 1, 2015. During 2015, honey bee colonies on April 1, July 1, and October 1 were 29.0 thousand, 67.0 thousand, and 72.0 thousand, respectively.
Honey bee colonies lost for operations with five or more colonies during the quarter of January-March 2016, was 330 colonies or 2 percent lost. This is the lowest number of colonies lost during the most recent five quarters. The quarter of October-December 2015 had a loss of 7.0 thousand colonies or 10 percent, the highest honey bee colonies loss of the five quarters.
Honey bee colonies added for operations with five or more colonies during the quarter of January-March 2016 was 40 colonies. The quarter of April-June 2015, added 15.5 thousand colonies, the highest number of honey bee colonies added of the five quarters. The quarter of October-December 2015, at 10 colonies, showed the least amount of honey bee colonies added.
Honey bee colonies renovated for operations with five or more colonies during the quarter of January-March 2016 was 30 colonies. This is the lowest number of colonies renovated during the five most recent quarters. The number of colonies renovated during the quarter of January-March 2015 was 310 or 1 percent. The highest number of honey bee colonies renovated for any quarter, at 6.0 thousand, occurred during July-September 2015. Renovated colonies are those that were requeened or received new honey bees through nuc or package.
Varroa mites were the number one stressor for operations with five or more colonies during four out of the five quarters surveyed. The quarter of January-March 2016 showed varroa mites at 1.7 percent. The quarter of July-September 2015 showed the highest percentage of varroa mites at 33.2 percent affected.
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