UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — American honey bee populations are starting to recover after a third of the country’s colonies were wiped out last year.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of commercial honeybee colonies jumped 3 percent year on year as of April 1, 2017.
The USDA said Aug. 1 that the number now stands at 2.89 million.
Varroa mites wreaked havoc on the bee population last year affecting more than half of all colonies. Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon where bees leave their hives, was also to blame for the severe dip in numbers.
However, the percent of colonies reported to be affected by both the mites and Colony Collapse Disorder fell this year.
Their recovery is good news for the U.S. economy as bees play a big role in supporting the agriculture industry. The insects pollinate billions of dollars of crops each year.