National Honey Bee Surveys

Last Modified: March 03, 2024

Since 2009, APHIS has funded an annual national survey of honey bee pests and diseases. The national survey documents which bee diseases, parasites, or honey bee pests are present or likely absent in the United States. Specifically, we have verified the absence of the parasitic mite Tropilaelaps spp. and other exotic threats to honey bee populations (e.g., Apis cerana).

Although there are over 4,000 types of bees in the United States, honey bees are America's primary commercial pollinator. More than 100 types of crops grown in the this country rely on pollinators. USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates that pollination is responsible for more than $18 billion in added revenue to crop production. Additionally, ERS estimates that the total annual value of U.S. honey bee products and services is approximately $700 million.

Survey Overview

The national survey continues to be the most comprehensive honey bee pests and diseases survey to date. The survey has three goals:

  1. Detecting potentially invasive pests, such as the exotic mite Tropilaelaps, and problematic Apis spp., such as A. cerana;
  2. Expanding the honey bee health surveillance dataset, which provides critical long-term historical perspective of colony health; and
  3. Identifying risk and protective factors that predict colony health and operational success by connecting honey bee health measures over time and annual colony losses.

Here's how the survey works:

  • The survey is open to all States and Territories on a voluntary basis.
  • Beekeepers within the State or Territory volunteer to have their apiary inspected.
  • Samples are collected by participating agencies or universities and processed by the University of Maryland.
  • Surveyors will make 3 or more sampling trips to an apiary throughout the year to collect a total of 14 general survey surveillance samples.
  • They will also sample five apiaries twice during the year‒ in the spring before or at the start of the honey flow and in the fall after honey flow–to more closely monitor factors that affect honey bee health seasonally.
  • The Bee Informed Partnership securely stores the survey data. 

Survey Resources

This information is for people who are conducting honey bee surveys. Additional resources are available at

Survey Videos