In a normal bee lifecycle during the summer season, some 2,000 worker honey bees will leave the hive to die naturally every day due to their short lifespan of only 4 – 6 weeks. The dead bees are replaced by newly-hatched bees, so maintaining the colony.
Although a small number of colony losses are typically expected over the winter season, bee researchers, government extension agents, consultants, beekeepers and other bee experts have attributed higher overwintering losses to an increased presence of Varroa mite and associated viruses.
It is important to note that despite ongoing reports on substantial bee losses in some regions, the overall number of managed honey bee colonies worldwide has been rising almost continuously for the past 50 years
, according to United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics.
In the United States, the number of honey-producing colonies has been generally steady for about two decades, and the number of honey-producing colonies increased by more than 100,000 hives in 2014
, according to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics.