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WASHINGTON -- Honeybee colonies in Michigan as of January 1, 2016 totaled 25,000 according to Marlo Johnson, Director of the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Field Office.1 This is 52 percent above the 16,500 colonies on January 1, 2015. During 2015, honeybee colonies on April 1, July 1, and October 1 were 58,000, 89,000, and 67,000, respectively.1

Honeybee colonies lost for operations in Michigan during the quarter of January-March 2016 was 5,000 colonies, or 14 percent lost. This quarter showed the least amount of lost honeybee colonies. The quarter of January-March 2015 had a loss of 11,500 colonies or 19 percent, the highest honeybee colonies loss of the five quarters.

Honeybee colonies added for Michigan operations during the quarter of January-March 2016 was 2,300 colonies. The quarter of April-June 2015 added 13,500 colonies, the highest number of honeybee colonies added of the five quarters. The quarter of October-December 2015, at 210, showed the fewest number of honeybee colonies added.

Varroa mites were the primary stressor for operations with five or more colonies during four of the past five quarters. The quarter of July-September 2015 showed the highest percentage of varroa mites at 44.6 percent of colonies affected, while the quarter of January-March 2016 showed varroa mites at only 5.4 percent.

Honeybee colonies in Indiana as of January 1, 2016 totaled 6,500 according to Greg Matli, State Statistician of the USDA, NASS, Indiana Field Office.1 This is 28 percent below the 9,000 colonies on January 1, 2015. During 2015, honeybee colonies on April 1, July 1, and October 1 were 8,000, 15,000, and 11,500, respectively.

Honeybee colonies lost in Indiana during the quarter of January-March 2016 was 770 colonies, or 12 percent lost. This quarter showed the lowest number of loss. The quarter of January-March 2015 had a loss of 2,100 colonies or 22 percent, the highest loss of the five quarters surveyed.

Honeybee colonies added in Indiana during the quarter of January-March 2016 was 40 colonies. This quarter showed the least amount of honeybee colonies added. There were 4,900 colonies added during the April-June 2015 quarter, the highest number of honeybee colonies added of the five quarters in the state.

Varroa mites were the number one stressor for Indiana. The quarter of January-March 2016 showed varroa mites at 17.4 percent of colonies affected. By comparison, the quarter of January-March 2015 showed the highest percentage of varroa mites at 20.7 percent of colonies affected.

Honeybee colonies in Ohio as of January 1, 2016 totaled 16,000 according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician of the USDA, NASS, Ohio Field Office.1 This is 11 percent below the 18,000 colonies on January 1, 2015. During 2015, honeybee colonies on April 1, July 1, and October 1 were 17,500, 23,000, and 19,000, respectively. Honeybee colonies lost for operations in Ohio during the quarter of January-March 2016 was 4,200 colonies, or 26 percent lost. The quarter of January-March 2015 had a loss of 10,500 colonies or 48 percent, the highest honeybee colonies loss of the five quarters. The quarter of July-September 2015, at 1,900 or 8 percent, showed the lowest number of lost honeybee colonies.

Honeybee colonies added for Ohio operations during the quarter of January-March 2016 was 760 colonies. The quarter of April-June 2015 added 10,000 colonies, the highest number of honeybee colonies added of the five quarters. The quarter of October-December 2015, at 200, showed the least amount of honeybee colonies added.

Varroa mites were the number one stressor for operations with five or more colonies for three of the past five quarters. The quarter of January-March 2016 showed varroa mites at 41.9 percent. This quarter showed the highest percentage of honey bee colonies affected by varroa mites, while the January-March 2015 quarter showed only 10.7 percent affected by varroa mites.

Nationally, honeybee colonies for operations with five or more colonies as of January 1, 2016 totaled 2.59 million. This is 8 percent below the 2.82 million colonies on January 1, 2015. During 2015, honeybee colonies on April 1, July 1, and October 1 were 2.85 million, 3.13 million, and 2.87 million, respectively. Honeybee colonies lost for operations with five or more colonies was highest during the quarter of January-March 2015 and lowest during the quarter of April-June 2015.

Nationally, colonies lost with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) symptoms peaked at 114 thousand colonies lost during January-March 2016. That same quarter a year ago showed 92.3 thousand colonies lost in the United States. Colonies with CCD loss were those that met all of the following criteria: 1) Little to no build-up of dead bees in the hive or at the hive entrance 2) Rapid loss of adult honeybee population despite the presence of queen, capped brood, and food reserves 3) Absence or delayed robbing of the food reserves 4) Loss not attributable to varroa or nosema loads.

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