Page 28

Beekeeping problems Whilst the reported severity of problems varies from year to year and season to season[70], there is a consistency in the type of problems associated with beekeeping; they include:

• Above average colony losses following the winter period. This problem has been identified at the national and continental level (Figure 7). Above average losses would be those that exceed the 5-10% winter losses that are considered normal.

Of the problems identified by beekeepers in Europe ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’ is reported in error. CCD is a term describing a characteristic phenomenon where worker bees disappear without trace. CCD is an accepted phenomenon in the USA, but in Europe CCD is unconfirmed and bee experts and authorities claim that CCD has not been experienced in Europe. What is experienced in Europe is over winter losses of bees that exceed normal levels.[20] [21] [22]

• Localised bee losses, where a defined local area suffers greater than average worker bee mortality. • The colony exhibiting a ‘weakness’ that seems to increase the sensitivity of bees to stresses such as diseases and parasites. • A noticeable reduction in honey yields. • A condition referred to as ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’ (CCD). Over-winter hive losses are not a new phenomenon; they have been repeatedly recorded since the late 19th century [25], and causes of localised bee losses are often quickly identified. The identification of the source of a problem ensures that appropriate action can be taken to prevent future cases.

Figure 7: National percentages of colonies lost after winter from 2000 to 2009 in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden, and England and Wales (adapted from [21])

National colony loss rate

40 35 25 20 15 10 5 0 2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Year Denmark 26 

Pollinators and agriculture

Finland

Germany

Sweden

England and Wales

2010

Profile for ECPA

Pollinators & Agriculture  

Agricultural productivity and pollinator protection - Around 70% of the world’s most produced crop species rely to some extent on insect pol...

Pollinators & Agriculture  

Agricultural productivity and pollinator protection - Around 70% of the world’s most produced crop species rely to some extent on insect pol...