Honey bee life spans are 50% shorter today than they were 50 years ago

A new study by entomologists shows that the lifespan for individual honey bees kept in a controlled, laboratory environment is 50% shorter than it was in the 1970s. As the first study to show an overall decline in honey bee lifespan potentially independent of environmental stressors, this work hints that genetics may be influencing the broader trends of higher colony turnover rates seen in the beekeeping industry.A new study by entomologists shows that the lifespan for individual honey bees kept in a controlled, laboratory environment is 50% shorter than it was in the 1970s. As the first study to show an overall decline in honey bee lifespan potentially independent of environmental stressors, this work hints that genetics may be influencing the broader trends of higher colony turnover rates seen in the beekeeping industry.

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