CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Ohio honeybee population continues to decline and experts now think they know why. First, the shocking decline has happen quickly.
According to the US Department of Agriculture in 2015, from January through March, Ohio lost 48 percent of its honeybee colonies.
For the same time period in 2016 Ohio lost another 26 percent of its colonies.
The Varroa Mite attaches to a bee and feeds on it, and can eventually kill an entire colony.
It's estimated the mite is responsible for 34 percent of the recent decline.
The next largest killer is other pests and parasites at 13 percent and pesticides at 11 percent.
Of course the major concern is what the declining population means to the fresh food we eat.
Bees are what pollinate much of our fruits and vegetables. SaveOnEnergy says the apple industry alone in the US would loose 2.9 billion dollars if the honey bee population went extinct.
The blueberry industry would loose 888 million dollars. Almonds alone are 100 percent reliant on the honeybee.
The loss of the honeybee and its impact would even trickle down to jobs. According to SaveOnEnergy one in twelve today is in agriculture. "The honeybee contribution equates to well over $16 billion dollars a year."
For those interested in bee keeping or they have a swarm they would like removed the Ohio State Bee Keepers Association has a good site here.