Virginia loses 60 percent of honeybee colonies, twice the state's average

(AP) -- Virginia's honeybees had a rough winter.

The Daily Progress reports that the state lost 60 percent of its colonies last winter.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says that's double the average rate for the last decade.

Officials say there's no single cause for the decrease, but habitat loss, pests, diseases and pesticides are all factors in the decline.

The state agriculture department is encouraging Virginians to become beekeepers and plant-pollinator gardens.