Increase in Scottish Hive Loss over Winter

scottish hives

A Scottish Government Bee Health Survey covering the 2012-13 winter has shown 79% of beekeepers lost at least one hive over winter compared with only 39% in the previous winter. Beekeepers identified the weather, queen health, starvation and varroa mites as responsible for losses.

The numbers were based on a Scottish Goverment survey which selected a random sample of 10% of the 800 Scottish beekeepers registered on Beebase. Samples were collected and analysed for disease in 2012 and a follow up survey conducted after the recent winter.

Press reports included the background estimates that in Scotland there are about 1400 hobby beekeepers who are members of the Scottish Beekeepers' Association, a further 1000 hobbyists who are not and about 25 commercial bee farmers who are members of the Bee Farmers' Association. Scottish government estimates appear to show a much lower rate of Beebase registration than  in England and Wales.