A fifth of UK honeybee colonies perish as the Varroa Destructor hits

Last winter almost a third of bees in the north of England died and across the country more than 19 per cent have disappeared, the BBKA have warned.
Honeybees: the UK's best pollinator

Honeybees: the UK's best pollinator

The British BeeKeepers Association blamed the high mortality rate on modern agricultural practice and the varroa destructor mite – which has caused the bee population to plummet across Europe during the last two years.

Honey Bee versus Varroa Destructor – it’s hardly the even match we saw in Alien versus Predator. Earlier this year the BBKA lobbied Parliament to fund research into the deadly bug which weakens the bee larvae when they are small. And after a slow start the Government has pledged £2m to help combat the disease.

The mites thought to be at the heart of the problem hit British bees in 2002 after first travelling from Southeast Asia and Australia. They are thought to lead to sick and vulnerable hives which cannot cope with cold or lack of food.

Bee larvae attached by the Varroa mite

Bee larvae attacked by the brown Varroa mite

Bees are thought to be worth 200m to the UK economy and are invaluable to the pollination of crops. As their numbers continue to drop it is expected that honey prices may triple in the next five years. UK arable farmers have also expressed concern that the country’s orchards and rapeseed crops will not be able to flourish if bee numbers continue to deplete.

For more information visit: http://www.britishbee.org.uk/

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3 Responses to “A fifth of UK honeybee colonies perish as the Varroa Destructor hits”

  1. witackman Says:

    Is so sad!! The mites eated the baby bees! Grr! Angry manking!

  2. witackman Says:

    Bees are my friend : )

  3. When are you going to write something new? x

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