Urban Environments Reduce Honey Bee Survival

A North Carolina State University project found that urban environments increase pathogen abundance in honey bees and reduce honey bee survival. Researchers selected 15 feral colonies, living in trees or buildings without human management, and 24 colonies managed by beekeepers in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The researchers analyzed the bee colonies to quantify the abundance and diversity of pathogens present and the bees’ immune responses to this pathogen pressure. The research team found that colonies closer to urban areas experienced greater pathogen pressure.