Výsledky publikované mezinárodním týmem
Comparison of apiculture and winter mortality of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera) in Austria and Czechia
Honey bees are the most important managed pollinators and provide income because of bee products. In Austria and Czechia, we monitored winter losses of honey bee colonies and also collected information on the apicultural sector, hive management, population dynamics and treatment against the mite Varroa destructor from 2013-14 to 2016-17. Numbers of beekeepers and colonies, colony density and percentage of beekeepers in human population are higher in Czechia than in Austria. Winter loss rates of honey bee colonies ranged from 8.1% to 28.4% in Austria and 6.4% to 19.4% in Czechia, with significantly higher loss rates in all 4 investigated winters in Austria. The portion of colonies lost because of living colonies with unsolvable queen problems ranged from 3.6 to 4.4% in Austria and from 2.2 to 3.0% in Czechia. Despite of colony losses during winter, colony production in summer allows for compensation or even expansion of colony populations in both countries. We identified differences between the two countries in the treatments applied by beekeepers against the parasitic varroa mite. In Austria, organic acids are most commonly used, whereas the application of synthetic acaricides is widely spread in Czechia. Our study points at the better understanding of apiculture and the importance of international comparisons to facilitate our knowledge on honey bee colony losses.
Loss rates of honey bee colonies during winter 2017/18 in 36 countries participating in the COLOSS survey, including effects of forage sources
This short article presents loss rates of honey bee colonies over winter 2017/18 from 36 countries, including 33 in Europe, from data collected using the standardized COLOSS questionnaire. The 25,363 beekeepers supplying data passing consistency checks in total wintered 544,879 colonies, and reported 26,379 (4.8%, 95% CI 4.7-5.0%) colonies with unsolvable queen problems, 54,525 (10.0%, 95% CI 9.8-10.2%) dead colonies after winter and another 8,220 colonies (1.5%, 95% CI 1.4-1.6%) lost through natural disaster. This gave an overall loss rate of 16.4% (95% CI 16.1-16.6%) of honey bee colonies during winter 2017/18, but this varied greatly from 2.0 to 32.8% between countries. The included map shows relative risks of winter loss at regional level. The analysis using the total data-set confirmed findings from earlier surveys that smaller beekeeping operations with at most 50 colonies suffer significantly higher losses than larger operations (p < .001). Beekeepers migrating their colonies had significantly lower losses than those not migrating (p < .001), a different finding from previous research. Evaluation of six different forage sources as potential risk factors for colony loss indicated that intensive foraging on any of five of these plant sources (Orchards, Oilseed Rape, Maize, Heather and Autumn Forage Crops) was associated with significantly higher winter losses. This finding requires further study and explanation. A table is included giving detailed results of loss rates and the impact of the tested forage sources for each country and overall.
Multi-country loss rates of honey bee colonies during winter 2016/2017 from the COLOSS survey
In this short note we present comparable loss rates of honey bee colonies during winter 2016/2017 from 27 European countries plus Algeria, Israel and Mexico, obtained with the COLOSS questionnaire. The 14,813 beekeepers providing valid loss data collectively wintered 425,762 colonies, and reported 21,887 (5.1%, 95% confidence interval 5.0-5.3%) colonies with unsolvable queen problems and 60,227 (14.1%, 95% CI 13.8-14.4%) dead colonies after winter. Additionally we asked for colonies lost due to natural disaster, which made up another 6,903 colonies (1.6%, 95% CI 1.5-1.7%). This results in an overall loss rate of 20.9% (95% CI 20.6-21.3%) of honey bee colonies during winter 2016/2017, with marked differences among countries. The overall analysis showed that small operations suffered higher losses than larger ones (p < 0.001). Overall migratory beekeeping had no significant effect on the risk of winter loss, though there was an effect in several countries. A table is presented giving detailed results from 30 countries. A map is also included, showing relative risk of colony winter loss at regional level.
Preliminary analysis of loss rates of honey bee colonies during winter 2015/16 from the COLOSS survey
In this short note we present comparable loss rates of honey bee colonies during winter 2015/16 from 29 countries, obtained with the COLOSS questionnaire. Altogether, we received valid answers from 19,952 beekeepers. These beekeepers collectively wintered 421,238 colonies, and reported 18,587 colonies with unsolvable queen problems and 32,048 dead colonies after winter. This gives an overall loss rate of 12.0% (95% confidence interval 11.8-12.2%) during winter 2015/16, with marked differences among countries. Beekeepers in the present study assessed 7.6% (95% CI 7.4-7.8%) of their colonies as dead or empty, and 4.4% (95% CI 4.3-4.5%) as having unsolvable queen problems after winter. The overall analysis showed that small operations suffered higher losses than larger ones. A table with detailed results and a map showing response and relative risks at regional level are presented.