Ohio Beekeepers Report Colony Losses Over Past Year

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio beekeepers say they’ve lost much of their beehive colonies over the past year.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that from April 2014 to April 2015, Ohio beekeepers reported losing nearly 50 percent of their colonies, according to a federally-backed research effort.

Ohio farmers rely on bees to pollinate more than 70 types of crops including apples, strawberries and pumpkins.

Officials say a big part of the problem is a loss of habitat for the bees, but some beehive owners point to certain insecticides and disease-spreading pests for the decline.

Since 2010, the number of registered beekeepers in Ohio has increased from around 3,900 to more than 4,400. Barbara Bloetscher with the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s apiary program says the bump in beekeepers should help boost the number of bees.