Bee death rates lower than feared

April 11, 2014

Editor’s Note: For more information about the Epilobee study, see the Review of Bee Health Decline here.

From: RTE News

A pioneering European Union survey into the impact of pests and diseases on honey bees has found that death rates were lower than feared.

The study in part counters concerns about the collapse of colonies of the crop-pollinating insects.

The study of 32,000 bee colonies across 17 EU member states from late 2012 until summer 2013 found winter mortality rates ranged from 3.5% percent to 33.6%.

The winter of 2012-13 was particularly cold and the highest mortality rates were in northern countries with harsher climates.

During the beekeeping season, when the insects are active, mortality rates were between 0.3% percent and 13.6%.

“It’s the first major study of pests and diseases that affect honey bees. A lot of it seems very encouraging,” said Tom Breeze, a specialist in bees at the University of Reading in Britain.

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