Parasites and Diseases:
The introduction of new parasitic insects such as the small hive beetle, tracheal mites, and varroa mites have also caused a decline in bee populations. Combined with poor industry practice these parasites spread rapidly in the US over the last few decades increasing hive mortality and attributing to the decline of local bee populations.
On a positive note the industry is adapting. New industry practices are being enforced like hive beetle and foul brood infested hives in California, interstate hive transport l aws to protect local bee populations, and new hygienic modified bees that are resistant or can live symbiotically with mites and beetles.
Although unproven by many US researchers the EU has found that a list of many new insecticides directly affect bee populations clothianidin, neonicotinoids, and imidacloprid. Most of these have been banned directly for the use on bee populations (bees are beneficial insects and have no specific insecticide listed for them directly). Also in the US these insecticides are regulated heavily in the retail extermination industry and agricultural industries requiring licensing and permits. Unfortunately, others are still used and take their toll.
With all of these things working against the industry some of us are charging on ensuring the future health and happiness of the bee populations, inventing new technologies, an d pushing for legislation to help beekeepers.
Industrial use of corn syrup, sugar substitutes and cheap sugar sources like HCF55 and beet sugar the price of honey has remained relatively low over the years due to low industrial demand. Recent publications and changes in how the US perceives food has helped increase retail demand influencing companies to purchase honey instead of substitutes.
Foreign countries with the intent of crashing the honey industry in the late 1990's sold honey to US markets under the cost of production. This forced many beekeepers out of the industry even after laws to protect the industry were put in place. To this day less than scrupulous countries blend honey and ship it to be sold in US markets undetected flooding the market forcing beekeepers to sell their products for less. To stop this activity you should always buy you honey RAW and LOCAL from known apiarie s and beekeepers. Many bulk blenders and store brands don't inspect their honey for rice syrup or corn syrup blending which is the reason why it is so inexpensive compared to other brands.