Bees suffer significant decline in bad winter
HUNDREDS of #honey bee colonies failed to survive the winter last year, according to an international study.
#Beekeepers in 29 countries said almost 12 percent of their 400,000 colonies had perished following problems with their queens.
Ireland, the UK, and Spain were worst affected, compared with the previous year, when other areas of Europe were hardest hit.
The preliminary findings were made through a study by honey #bee research association COLOSS, based in the Institute of Bee Health at the University of Bern, with Strathclyde University also involved in the work.
Dr. Alison Gray, of Strathclyde, said: “All the loss rates quoted here include losses due to unresolvable queen problems after winter, as well as colonies that died over winter for various reasons. Losses due to queen problems were unexpectedly high in some countries, and this will be a matter of further investigation.”
She went on: “The crucial role of #honey bees in crop #pollination means that maintaining colony numbers is of great importance to agriculture, the economy, and food security. Honeybees also #pollinate many flowering plants and trees important for other #wildlife, and so have a vital role in maintaining the natural environment.”
The study found that the spring and early summer months of last year were cold in Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland, with mean temperatures ranging from 12.8 to 14.4°C.
This may have harmed colony growth, causing relatively high numbers of dead colonies and unsolvable queen problems after winter.