Scottish Beekeepers Magazine article (August 2012) Results of SBA overwintering failures (OSR 2011-12)

  • Christopher N. Connolly (Interviewee)

    Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - media article or participation


    Following on from our discovery of the honeybee decline being predominant in the east of Scotland (compared to the west), we have analysed the honeybee losses with respect to their foraging on oilseed rape (OSR). We find that approximately 30% of colonies foraging on OSR fail to successfully overwinter (2011-12) compared to an overwintering failure of ~16% in bees not exposed to OSR. See also: Magnus Peterson and Alison Gray (University of Strathclyde) have reported ("The Scottish Beekeeper") identical results for 2006-7 (29% v 15%), 2007-2008 (35% v 19%) and 2010-11 (30% v 15%). Together, these findings identify that losses are greater in the east of Scotland, begin in parallel with the increased/altered use of neonicotinoids and correlate with foraging on OSR. These are the first independent field surveys to explore honeybee survival rates in relation to OSR crops. Does this also hold true for other pollinators?
    Period1 Aug 2012
    Held atScottish Beekeepers Association, United Kingdom