Bee Mortality and Bee Surveillance in Europe

First published in EFSA Supporting Publications
15 December 2009
3 December 2009
External Scientific Report


The bee surveillance project sought information on both the prevalence of honey bee colony losses, and the surveillance systems found in 27 European countries. Through a standardized questionnaire, data was obtained from 24 countries, relating to 25 systems. Each of the surveillance systems collecting these data was evaluated. In addition, a thorough literature search of the existing databases, as well as relevant grey literature about causes of colony losses was completed, and the literature evaluated.

The main conclusions from project activities can be summarized as follows:

  • General weakness of most of the surveillance systems in the 24 countries investigated;
  • Lack of representative data at country level and comparable data at EU level for colony losses;
  • General lack of standardisation and harmonisation at EU level (systems, case definitions and data collected);
  • Consensus of the scientific community about the multifactorial origin of colony losses in Europe and in the United States and insufficient knowledge of causative and risk factors for colony losses.
Question Number
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