The massive bee losses due to CCD caught the public’s attention, says May Berenbaum, an entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thanks to the attention and more funding for research, scientists now have better ways to monitor honeybees and their hives.
One is the Honey Bee Colony report, which was established in 2015. More than 3,500 beekeepers across the U.S. keep track of colony loss, new colonies, and overall colony health. Every three months, they submit data to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Joshua O’Rear is the statistician responsible for organizing and writing the report. “We are still building a baseline of what’s normal and what isn’t normal,” says O’Rear.