Third of all English Colonies Lost Over Winter

The 2012/13 BBKA Winter Survival Survey has found that losses more than doubled across all regions in England.

2012/13 - 33.8%
2011/12 - 16.2%
2010/11 - 13.6%
2009/10 - 17.7%

An average 33.8 colonies in every 100 were lost compared with 16.2 in the winter of 2011/2012. The losses are mainly due to the poor and changeable weather in 2012 and early 2013. The 2012 summer weather regularly prevented bees foraging and pollen and nectar were scarce throughout the season. Virgin queens were unable to mate properly, many becoming done layers and causing their colonies to die out.

Initially the survey results are only available as a press release, a more detailed report is promised for thre August BBKA Newsletter.

Significance of the result is increased because the methodology has remained consistant over recent years; 2,500 BBKA members are sent questionaires asking for survival numbers to the 31st March. While the figures may not reflect any individual experience, and there is regional variation, the doubling of reported losses in one year is a drastic change from the previous 4. The level is higher than any of the six years since the survey started after concerns over the high rate of losses in 2007/8 which ran at 30.5%.