(Business Insider Australia 14 June 2013)
In the United Kingdom, honeybee losses this past winter were the worst on record, the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) said in a statement on Thursday. Over the 2012-2013 winter season, 34 honeybee colonies of every 100 were lost on average — more than double that of the previous year. Widespread die-offs are being blamed largely on bad weather and a late spring, BBKA said in their report.
An exceptionally rainy season — the summer of 2012 was the wettest the UK had seen in 100 years — prevented honeybees from going out and collecting nectar and pollen from flowers, needed to nourish bees, produce honey, and to pollinate other crops. Poor nutrition, in turn, makes honeybees more susceptible to disease and other stressors. A scarcity of pollen and nectar even when honeybees were able to leave their hives served as an additional blow.