Bayer Reports Bee Health Levels Improve
It is difficult to pinpoint a single factor that is causing colony loss as bees are facing several challenges around pests and pathogens, loss of habitat, and poor farming and beekeeping practices according to Pest Control Technology Online. Ensuring improvement in the health of bees is the “responsibility of all the partners involved: farmers, beekeepers and industry,” says Annette Schurmann, Head of the Bayer Bee Care Centre.
New data published by COLOSS, the non-profit honey bee research association for the prevention of COlony LOSSes showed the improving health of honey bees across Europe. The overall mortality rate of bees during the 2013/2014 winter was down to nine percent (where everything under 10 percent is considered normal for Europe) in comparison to losses between 30 and 34 percent during the 2012/2013 winter season in the UK and Belgium.
Dr. Christian Maus, Global Pollinator Safety Manager at Bayer CropScience celebrates the positive steps towards maintaining bee health. Neonicotinoids, which are used to control pests that damange crops, were first believed have contributed to declining bee populations, but proved there was no harm to bees as they were in common use throughout Europe during the 2013/2014 winter where bee health improved. Another factor believed to have contributed to the improvement is the decreased threat of the Varroa mite infestation to beehives during winter due to good weather past spring and summer.
The Bee Industry also seems to be in good shape in Australia and New Zealand. A parliamentary report on bee health published by the Primary Production Committee in New Zealand in July 2014 confirms that despite the use of neonicotinoids, there seems to be no evidence of the colony collapse disorder. The introduction of neonicotinoids in Australia also led to healthy crops and more productivity.