Swiss bee-keepers sound the alarm

The winter of 2009/2010 has hit Switzerland’s bee population hard, with 22 per cent of their number not surviving.

This content was published on May 8, 2010 - 12:18

Another eight per cent have suffered so badly that they will not survive much longer, according to one of the country’s leading beekeepers’ associations.

According to a survey, the beekeepers estimate their losses at SFr10 million ($9 million), adding that the ecological consequences will be severe.

The figures are based on the estimates of 18,000 beekeepers in the German- and Romansch-speaking parts of the country.

The exact cause of the deaths remains a mystery, despite several scientific research projects.

According to the beekeepers, the main culprit is the varroa destructor, a parasitic mite from Asia that attacks honey bees. and agencies

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