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Honey Bee Colonies Fall By Nearly 12%

Colonies of honeybee are found to fall down by almost 12 percent. (Image Courtesy: Google)

Honey bees are an important part for the formation of colonies which are helping the nature and biodiversity by means of pollinating different plants from one place to another.

This pollination is further helping wild animals in terms of growing plants rapidly over different regions.

According to an international study which involves University of Strathclyde, bee colonies fell by nearly 12 percent during last winter.

Beekeepers from about 29 different countries reported that from about 4,00,000 colonies which they managed, 11.9 percent has failed to survive the winter.

A marked honey bee queen used during the study. She is shown on a wax comb with adult workers, capped cells containing maturing workers, and open cells. (Image Courtesy: Google)
A marked honey bee queen used during the study. She is shown on a wax comb with adult workers, capped cells containing maturing workers, and open cells. (Image Courtesy: Google)

Reasons of Perishing Honey Bee Colonies:

Cases of perishing of the colonies after their queen suffering problems were quite high than usually expected.

UK and Spain were found to be most affected as compared to the previous year when the other areas of the Europe were hit hardest.

Preliminary findings were being made via study by the honeybee research association COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes) which is based on the Institute of Bee health from the University of Bern.

Various Findings and Study:

Dr Alison Gray from the Strathclyde’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics and also a partner of the study commenting over the same said,

  1. These loss rates vary considerably between countries. In this year’s survey the highest losses were found in Ireland and Northern Ireland, followed by Wales and Spain.
  2. The pattern of loss rates differs from last year, when higher mortality and loss rates were found in central Europe and countries to the east.
  3. This year the higher loss rates tend to be in the west and northern countries, although Spain had high rates of loss in both years.”
  4. All the loss rates quoted here include losses due to unsolvable queen problems after winter, as well as colonies that died over winter for various reasons.
  5. Losses due to queen problems were unexpectedly high in some countries and this will be a matter of further investigation.
  6. The crucial role of honey bees in crop pollination means that maintaining colony numbers is of great importance to agriculture, the economy and food security.
  7. Honey bees also pollinate many lowering plants and trees important for other wildlife, and so have a vital role in maintaining the natural environment and biodiversity.

“Our research with COLOSS studies the levels of colony losses and potential drivers of colony decline, including management practices, pests and diseases and environmental factors,” she further added.

Contribution of Human and Birds Collaboration:

Even a collaboration is seen between humans and wild birds for finding the nests of honey bee.

Humans are using a wild bird named honeyguide which helps them to find honey bee nest and humans help them for getting rid of the singing bees and finding corresponding wax for them. In return humans receive honey from the bee nest.

This mutual co-operation is greatly beneficial for both the species in obtaining high calorific value food for both the species. Honeyguide is not being trained for doing this process but the process goes on with mutual understanding by means of special voices which helps in two way communication between them.

Not only honeyguides uses special calls to solicit human partners but humans are also using specialized calls for recruiting the assistance from birds.

Thus a mutual understanding or co-operation is used for communicating with each other. Even after the use of these methods the number of colonies of honey bees has fallen by about 12 percent globally.

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