Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 14:29
Death rate of bees has dropped
Bee keepers in The Netherlands have recorded fewer losses of bees in the last Winter than in the years before. Throughout the country, the death rate has been placed at 9.2 percent. These figures come from a telephonic survey among apiarists that was done on the eighth of April by the Dutch Bee Keeping Association (NBV) and Wageningen University & Research center (UR). Bee colony deaths in the Winter has been alarmingly high in the last few years. Some Winters, one in four bee colonies did not make it. The survey from the Winter of 2012-2013 shows that the death rate dropped to around 13 percent. Bram Cornelissen, from Wageningen UR, says that "these results are encouraging, but it's too soon to speak of a trend." The NBV is the biggest bee keeping organization in the country with 6000 members. Along with that, members of the General Dutch Apiarists Association (ANI) also took part in the survey. The research involved around 90 percent of apiarists in The Netherlands that associate themselves with these organizations. What is not clear is why the death rate dropped in the last two years. Mild weather has been offered as an explanation, but the 2012-2013 Winter was quite rough. The low Winter death rate of this year does not mean that the problem of dying bees is going to go away. Although the last years have given more attention to the problem, it is bee keepers themselves who have to prepare their hives for the winter. It is possible that their careful preparations have now paid off. Environmental factors are actually not that important to a healthy bee population.