Honey bees disappearing at alarming rate

A new study on honey bee colony losses in Europe was released by the European Commission today and lists Denmark among the six countries where bees are having the hardest time surviving winter.

Studying 32,000 bee hives in 17 countries, the commission found six countries where the winter death rate is more than 20 percent that is described as 'unacceptable'.

Fewer bees in the north
Besides Denmark at 20.2 percent, the list also includes Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and the UK. Since all these countries are located in the north, it has been suggested that harsh winters may be the reason for the declining bee population.

For instance, the rate in Denmark is under three percent in the summer, but the European Commission says there is not enough scientific evidence to support the theory.

"The effect of long and cold winters on colony survival is well known in cold countries although it has not been accurately documented in scientific papers," the report says.





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