“I hear a lot of buzzing, ya know it sound like my little honey bee,” sang Muddy Waters in the blues song “Honey Bee” written by Waters and Bumble Bee Slim. Muddy would be hearing less buzzing in Nebraska this year according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
The NASS surveys Nebraska honey bee producers three times a year: January 1, April 1, and October 1. The latest surveys show operations with five or more colonies had 9,000 colonies as of January 1, and 16,500 colonies as of April 1. In 2019, colonies numbered 13,500 and 40,000 on January1 and April 1 respectively. The survey showed varroa mites were the top stressor for operations.