America’s honeybee population hits an all-time high

    The new Census of Agriculture shows 3.8 million honeybee colonies, a rise of almost a million colonies in the last five years, making honeybees the fastest-growing livestock segment in the country.

These optimistic new numbers have sparked hope in pollinator enthusiasts nationwide, but another data set from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the annual honey report, shows a decline in bee colonies. Is there actually a bee boom?

The Washington Post’s Department of Data (a project that regularly delves into the answers behind statistics) explains that the definition of a “farmer” may be behind the discrepancy between the two reports.

One thing is clear from this story: Beekeepers are employing new tactics to deal with mites, fungi and diseases that have caused colony collapse in domesticated bee populations.

Get the buzz on the status of bees—a vital part of our agricultural production HERE.