Around one in seven bee colonies in Germany did not survive the winter. Around 15 percent of the wintered bee colonies have died, according to an analysis by the German Beekeepers’ Association and the German Beekeepers Association.
This brings the loss to a similar level to the previous year, albeit slightly lower than the experts expected. They had previously assumed that 18 to 22 percent of the peoplewould fall by the wayside. This was due to the fact that a number of peoples had already died in the autumn, but December was unusually mild.
“Probably the above-average temperatures in December have had less negative influence on bee colonies than appears to be the case in colder hibernation periods. This has already been shown by evaluations for previous years,” explains bee expert Christoph Otten, who is responsible for the study. The losses are often caused by parasites such as mites, which inflict on peoples. Tens of thousands of beekeepers in Germany are interviewed annually for the evaluation. More than half of them were affected by the loss of at least one people.
If the loss is estimated to be financially high, the researchers estimate a loss of around 30 million euros. Then there is the lack of yields that the peopleshould have brought. The biggest losses were in the north – namely in Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein. However, further research remains to be done on what this is.
In total, there are more than 100,000 beekeepers and one million honeybee colonies in Germany. The vast majority of beekeepers are hobby or part-time beekeepers, and less than one percent are full-time professional beekeepers.