Cost cuts in Washington are trickling down to our honeybee population.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has suspended data collection for its annual honey bee colonies report.
According to a notice posted by the USDA, “the decision wasn’t made lightly but was necessary” due to resources.
The USDA would not provide a figure for how much the agency was saved in the move.
It’s a move that hurts researchers and the honeybee industry of a critical tool for understanding honeybee population declines.
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’s at least the third bee-related dataset to be suspended under the current administration.
United States beekeepers lost over 40% of colonies during the last year, from April 2018 to April 2019, with an annual survey showing an increasing number in a winter die-off of honeybees.