High Loss Rate of Oregon Bees

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Oregon State University released a recent survey stating that Oregon honeybees are dying so fast and in such large numbers that some bee keepers could be forced out of business.

The study shows that 21 percent of commercial honeybee hives in Oregon did not survive last winter. Some of the most common causes of bee loss are mites or viral disease. Another trend killing bees is poor nutrition caused by mono-cropping. That comes when people and farmers planting too much of the same flowers or crops.

Experts say there are steps that people can take to help this problem.

“I would encourage homeowners and landscapers and municipalities to really think about planting for pollinators. They tend to be really beautiful blooming plants, and if you pick right, they have low water maintenance and you want to select ones that bloom early, in the
middle of the season, and late in the season,” said John Jacob with the Oregon State Beekeepers Association.

Experts also say that though the loss rate is still high, it is lower than rates in years past.