Where are my bees

Asked July 9, 2017, 5:51 PM EDT

I live on Savage Creek road off of 99 between Grants Pass 6mi and Rogue River 4mi. We used to have lots of bees, so many I would have to time my flower pruning to when they were least active. We have lots of flowers, our "lawn" is mini clover, vegetable garden, water. We set up homes for mason bees a few years ago....empty........this year we have NO bees....well one or two on occasion. Where are my bees? What can I do to bring them back? Thanks Annette Roeyer Got no buzz

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

It is hard to speculate on the native bee populations (bumble bees, mason bees etc.) as there is no baseline and continuous monitoring of these bees, but for honey bee populations there is data available from systematic surveys conducted over the years. Our 2016-17 honey bee colony loss survey showed that the commercial beekeepers in Oregon lost on average about 25% of their colonies. This loss rate was higher when compared to last few years. For some beekeepers the colony losses ranged up to 50%. The year 2016-17 was not a good year for many beekeepers due to high incidence of parasitic mite (Varroa) and relatively long freezing weather during winter.