Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in the fields of gold
Since the 1970’s the Varroa mite has been spread from
Asiato other parts of the world, causing a significant and chronical mortality under bee hives. Besides that there is the last ten years an increase in bee mortality in many countries, uptil now unexplained.
Noticeable is the disappearance of bee hives especially during wintertime, without dead bees being found in the beehive. Bee hives have an important role as fertilizer. Therefore there is a growing interest for the possible effects on the food supply of a decrease in the number of bee hives. Especially as other fertilizers are also dimishing in numbers.
This was the reason for the investigation that has been executed during winter 2009 – 2010. This investigation led to the following conclusions (the most important ones are printed here - EL):
- Winter mortality under bee hives in winter 2009-2010 was 29.1% of the study population that was present in oktober 2009
- The usage of a special bee sirup called Ambrosius Fructo-Bee caused a significant part of the winter mortality. Corrected for this part the winter mortality was 23.1%
- There was no significant difference in mortality between bee-keepers that did or did not work in professional agricultural businesses.
- There was no significant difference in winter mortality between the different breeds of bees Carnica, Buckfast or Hybrids / Race unknown.
- Between the Dutch provinces there were significant differences: mortality in the
provinceof Noord-Brabantwas much higher than in Limburg or Gelderland.
- There was no significant difference in mortality between bee-keepers that lost hives with CDS characteristics and bee-keepers that lost hives without CDS characteristics.
- Bee-keepers that fought the varroa-mite in August had significantly less mortality than bee-keepers that fought the varroa-mite in September or October.
It must be explained that the purpose of this investigation of the NCB was not to find the cause for the Colony Depopulation Syndrome, or causes for other kinds of bee mortality. What the investigators did find out, however, was that the Ambrosius Fructo-Bee bee food cristallized too quickly in winter, causing the bee hives to starve in a significant number of cases. Therefore the investigation results were corrected whereever this kind of bee food was used by the bee-keeper.
|The numbers of bee hives in 4 investigated countries - figures courtesy of NCB|
|Bee mortality in winter 2009-2010 in 4 investigated countries - figures courtesy of NCB|
You can see in the data that the bee mortality in these countries was (with an exception for