Honey bees hit by Trump budget cuts

Trump administration cuts honeybee research

Cost cuts in Washington are trickling down to our honey bee 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.

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The USDA would not provide a figure for how much the agency was saving by the move.

It's a move that deprives researchers and the honey bee industry of a critical tool for understanding honey bee population declines.

The annual survey gathers data on the number of honey bees per state by quarter, including those being lost to 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 percent 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 honey bees.