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The number of honey bee colonies fell by 16 percent in the winter of 2017-18, according to an international study led by the University of Strathclyde.
The survey of 25,363 beekeepers in 36 countries found that, out of 544,879 colonies being managed at the start of winter, 89124 were lost, through a combination of circumstances including various effects of weather conditions, unsolvable problems with a colony's queen, and natural disaster.
Portugal - Northern - Ireland - Italy - England
Portugal, Northern Ireland, Italy and England experienced losses above 25 percent, while Belarus, Israel and Serbia were among those with loss rates below 10 percent. There were also significant regional variations within some countries, including Germany, Sweden and Greece.
The total loss rate was down from 20.9 percent in 2016-17 but was still higher than the 2015-16 figure of 12.0 percent. The total loss rate for Scotland increased over these three years, from 18.0 percent to 20.4 percent to 23.7 percent.
Departure - Findings - Beekeepers - Colonies - Foraging
In a departure from previous findings, beekeepers who moved their colonies in the foraging season, to access other forage or for pollination, faced fewer losses than those who kept their bees in the same place. Smaller-scale beekeeping operations also had higher losses than larger ventures.
The study, based on voluntarily submitted information, covered 33 countries in Europe—including the four nations of the UK—along with Algeria, Israel and Mexico.
Journal - Apicultural - Research - Researchers - Colony
It has been published in the Journal of Apicultural Research and was carried out by researchers in the colony loss monitoring group of the international honey bee...
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