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.
swissinfo.ch and agencies