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In a recent newsletter, The Cropsite.com revealed that Europe's honeybees are in good health after decades of colony collapse. According to Sarah Mikesell, the article's author, "EU bees are back and are in their best health in years." 

General bee health is measured by overwintering colony collapse, as weak or sick bees can’t survive freezing temperatures. A small percent of yearly colony collapse is natural—hive mortality rates of 10 percent are considered normal in Europe. Yet as recently as 2012, the UK and Belgium have suffered staggeringly high rates of colony collapse ranging from 30 percent to 34 percent.

Thankfully, new data from colonies across the EU indicate a more hopeful trend for pollinators. COLOSS (a nonprofit research association dedicated to preventing bee colony loss) has published data indicating that only nine percent of European bees were lost in the 2013/ 2014 winter season.

Australian and New Zealand hives are also thriving. Authorities from New Zealand’s Primary Production Committee state that honey production has risen and that bee colonies do not show any evidence of the dreaded Colony Collapse Disorder that has plagued apiaries and wild bee colonies for the last decade. 

To read more about improved bee health, read Mikesell's original post on The Cropsite.com

You can also learn how you can help bees and the environment in our blog series The Good Life 

Author

Bethany Ivie

Bethany Ivie has been with Heifer International's Little Rock staff since March 2014.