The number of bee colonies that died in the year since April 2014 reached levels only ever seen once before, reported the Bee Informed Partnership.
Of the total number of colonies managed over the past 12 months, U.S. beekeepers said 42.1 percent were lost. It was the second-highest annual loss recorded.
Annual beehive losses varied across the nation, with the highest in Oklahoma at 63.4 percent and the lowest in Hawaii, with 14 percent.
During this past winter season, the Bee Informed Partnership gathered data from 6,128 beekeepers in the United States who managed 398,247 colonies as of October 2014. That represents about 14.5 percent of the estimated 2.74 million managed honey bee colonies in the country.
Winter die-offs were reported to be 18.7 percent, which is quite a bit lower than the nine-year average total loss of 28.7 percent, the partnership noted. But bees don’t just die in the winter; they perish in the summer too.