Every ninth colony of bees in Bavaria did not survive the winter. This is shown by a survey by the specialist center for bees and beekeeping in Mayen (Rhineland-Palatinate). According to this, 11.1 percent of the colonies in the Free State died in winter, nationwide it is 11.6 percent. “That’s comparatively little,” said Stefan Berg, head of the bee institute at the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture (LWG) in Veitshöchheim (Würzburg district).
The losses this year are particularly low in Lower Franconia at 8.6 percent and Upper Palatinate at 9.6 percent. Upper Bavaria reported the largest loss with 13 percent. For comparison: In the winter of 2020/21, every fifth bee colony nationwide died. According to Berg, the reason for the “rather relaxed year” is the mild winter. According to the expert, the bees were able to fly out again and again in winter and empty their fecal bladder, which prevents possible intestinal diseases.
According to Berg, the rather long winter was critical for the bees. Many beekeepers would have fed more. According to Berg, beekeepers had expected greater losses in autumn due to the so-called varroa mite. The Varroa mite damages the winter bees, which hatch in the fall and keep the hive warm through the winter.
Almost 8,000 beekeepers nationwide took part in the survey on winter loss rates, almost 2,000 of them from Bavaria. According to the information, more than 25,000 bee colonies were wintered in Bavaria. Almost 3000 died. According to the LWG, there are around 42,000 apiaries in Bavaria. This means that every fourth beekeeping in Germany is in Bavaria.