Annual hive losses have been reported at 10.2% according to the annual survey to understand bee health, losses and beekeeping practice carried out on behalf of Biosecurity New Zealand by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research.
More than 3,600 beekeepers completed the 2018 Colony Loss Survey
The latest results show bee colony losses have increased slightly since 2015.
The most commonly reported causes of colony losses, accounting for 80% were:
- Queen problems (such as drone layers, queen disappearance or not laying eggs).
- Suspected varroa mite infestation.
- Suspected starvation of bees (caused by weather and other factors).
- Wasps (which kill bees, eat pupae and steal honey).
Less common were losses caused by American foulbrood disease, theft and vandalism, toxicity, accidents, and Argentine ants.
Beekeepers make up colony losses every year with new colonies that they split from existing colonies. Queens are either created by the beekeeper or introduced as new queens from a queen breeder.
The Bee Colony Loss Survey provides baseline information for monitoring managed honey bee colony loss and survival over time.
According to the survey there has been an increase in annual winter colony losses reported for the South Island and the top of the North Island.
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