Britain’s honeybees have suffered catastrophic losses this year, according to a survey of the nation’s beekeepers, contributing to a shortage of honey and putting at risk the pollination of fruits and vegetables.
The survey by the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) revealed that nearly one in three of the UK’s 240,000 honeybee hives did not survive this winter and spring.
The losses are higher than the one in five colonies reported dead earlier this year by the government after 10% of hives had been inspected.
The BBKA president, Tim Lovett, said he was very concerned about the findings: “Average winter bee losses due to poor weather and disease vary from between 5% and 10%, so a 30% loss is deeply worrying. This spells serious trouble for pollination services and honey producers.”
Gardeners can help this decline providing the right habitat for bees, with choice of flowers being particularly important. There has also been in an increase in beekeeping by gardeners keen to bring the bee population back up, as well as enjoying the benefit of local organic honey.
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