Where Has All The Honey Gone? Scientists Explain Declining Yields

"Research has found that several factors have hampered bees’ ability to create honey over the past decade".

"It’s a question that has bedeviled beekeepers across the US in recent years: where has all the honey gone? Scientists now say they have some answers as to why yields of honey have declined, pointing to environmental degradation that is affecting all sorts of bees, and insects more generally.

The amount of honey produced by honeybee colonies in the US has dropped by around half a pound, on average, per colony in the past decade, US government data shows, even as the number of managed colonies increased slightly.

“You go to meetings with beekeepers and you’ll hear all the time they are not producing honey like they used to,” said Gabriela Quinlan, a research fellow in Penn State’s department of entomology and center for pollinator research. “It’s something we see across the board in different states.”

A new study, led by Quinlan, has analyzed the factors affecting the amount of flowers growing in different regions, which is a key factor in the amount of honey produced by honeybees after they forage. Honeybees need nectar, pollen and water, collected from the surrounding environment, to make honey."

Oliver Milman reports for the Guardian January 8, 2024.

Source: Guardian, 01/09/2024