These results come from the final report of the recently concluded EPILOBEE 2012-2014 study on honeybee colony losses, carried out by the EU reference laboratory for bee health. The two-year study aimed to give a harmonized state-of-play of honeybee colony losses in each of the 17 participating Member States. The study also investigated the main honeybee diseases prevalent in Europe.
Further conclusions from the two year study:
- Rates of colony mortality differed from one year to another towards a decrease in the second year.
- Significant regional differences in colony losses were also observed.
- Climate may have influenced winter colony losses over the two years.
- European and national surveillance systems benefited from this experience.
- This project provides a solid basis for future projects (e.g. explanatory studies) to study other risk factors affecting colony health.
The decrease in colony losses observed during 2013 and 2014 will be fully analysed, carefully interpreted and put into perspective by the Commission in cooperation with the European Food Safety Authority.