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North Dakota Honey Bee Colonies Total 67,000
North Dakota Ag Connection - 08/04/2020

Honey bee colonies for operations with five or more colonies in North Dakota as of January 1, 2020 totaled 53,000 according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The number of colonies in North Dakota on April 1, 2020 was 67,000. During 2019, honey bee colonies on January 1, July 1, and October 1 were 92,000, 530,000, and 420,000, respectively.

Honey bee colonies lost for operations with five or more colonies during the quarter of January-March 2020, was 4,500 colonies or 5% lost. During April-June 2020, 17,500 colonies or 4% of colonies were lost. The quarter of July-September 2019, at 81,000 or 15%, showed the highest number of lost honey bee colonies of any quarter during 2019. The quarter of January- March 2019 had a loss of 1,100 colonies or 1 percent, the lowest number of honey bee colonies lost in 2019.

Honey bee colonies added for operations with five or more colonies during the quarter of January-March 2020, was 2,500 colonies. The number of colonies added during the April-June 2020 quarter was 29,000. The quarter of July-September 2019, added 15,000 colonies, the highest number of honey bee colonies added for any quarter during 2019. The quarter of January-March 2019, at 0 added, showed the lowest number of honey bee colonies added in 2019.

Honey bee colonies renovated for operations with five or more colonies during the quarter of January-March 2020, was 0 colonies. The number of colonies renovated during the quarter of April-June 2020 was 37,000. During July-September 2019, 17,500 colonies were renovated, the highest number of colonies renovated during 2019. The lowest number of honey bee colonies renovated for any quarter, at 1,300, occurred during January-March 2019. Renovated colonies are those that were requeened or received new honey bees through a nuc or package.

Varroa mites were the number one stressor for operations with five or more colonies during all quarters in 2019. The quarter of July-September 2019 showed the highest percentage of varroa mites in 2019, at 48.4%. The percent of colonies reported to be affected by varroa mites during January-March 2020, and April-June 2020 were 0.6% and 25.7%, respectively.


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