Honey Badging has been a staple of American life since the turn of the century.
But now it’s in trouble.
A new study finds that the honey badger market is collapsing, and in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, honey bees are dying at alarming rates.
The study, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), was released Wednesday and includes findings from more than 1,000 beekeepers and growers across the states.
“There is a clear shift in the nature of beekeeping in New England and beyond,” said David Stober, a senior scientist at the U-M Cooperative Extension and a co-author of the report.
The study found that the number of beekeepers who reported losing a colony to natural mortality rose from 7.4 percent in 2016 to 15.6 percent in 2017, a jump of 50 percent. “
But there is also a recognition that there is an issue of unsustainable loss of bees, and the loss is not just a problem for New England, it is a problem globally.”
The study found that the number of beekeepers who reported losing a colony to natural mortality rose from 7.4 percent in 2016 to 15.6 percent in 2017, a jump of 50 percent.
Beekeepers in Massachusetts lost the most bees, at 32.4, followed by New Hampshire at 25.4 and New Jersey at 24.6.
In New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania the number declined by 24.7 percent.
The report also found that beekeepers in Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and Vermont saw their colonies decline by 25 percent or more over the period.
The bees are already suffering from a shortage of honey, with New Jersey being the worst hit state, with more than 5,600 colonies gone, the study found.
The New York State Department of Conservation and Recreation (SDCREC) said it will hold a statewide beekeepers conference next month to address the bee crisis.
The conference will include representatives from across New York state.
The honey bees and other pollinators that support our crops are in peril.
New York is a state with a high concentration of honey bees, which pollinate about a third of our crops, and New York’s pollinators are in critical need of conservation.
A study published in the journal Science in June found that if beekeepers don’t act, the number and quality of honey in New Hampshire’s supply could be severely affected.
“We don’t have the numbers and the quality of pollinators we need to do what we need them to do,” said Scott Koehler, senior director of the New Hampshire Honeybee Watch, a group that monitors pollinators in the state.
“The real question is, how are we going to protect them and how are they going to survive without us?”
In New Jersey the decline has been dramatic.
Last year, New Jerseyan honey bees were dying at an alarming rate.
In one year, the state lost more than 6,500 colonies.
In 2018, the population declined by 22 percent.
A state report in January said that there was a “massive reduction” in the numbers of honeybees in New Brunswick and other New Jersey counties, as well as in counties in New Castle, Cumberland and Somerset.
In 2016, New Brunswick lost about 1,200 honeybee colonies to natural death.
New Jersey State Assemblyman Mark Wisniewski, a Democrat who represents parts of Hoboken and Jersey City, has proposed legislation to protect honeybees.
“It’s going to be a massive effort to make sure New Jersey gets its bees back,” he said.
“New Jersey can’t have more honeybees than the rest of the country.
There are people here who have the right to protect bees and have their beekeeping thrive.
But they can’t do it with these bees going down.”
He said he is concerned that the new legislation could force beekeepers to sell their colonies, and said he will introduce a bill that would ban sales of honey bee products in New Jersey.
In a statement released by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Wisniwski said that the report found “a massive decline in the honey bee population” and that “this is a real crisis.”
The DEP said that while the report doesn’t cover New Jersey as a whole, it shows that in areas of the state where there is significant honey bee loss, the overall number of honeybee deaths has decreased.
“This is an alarming situation for honey bee populations,” said the statement from DEP.
“In the coming days, we will begin a review of our honey bee resources to better understand what we can do to mitigate the loss of honey production.”
The report noted that honey bee colonies in New Orleans have been declining for more than a decade, and that the numbers have declined in many areas in New Bedford County, where the city is located.
“These are all parts of New England that are important for our economy, for our farmers and for our food,” said Stober