Bee Mortality and Bee Surveillance in Europe

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

The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as authors. In accordance with Article 36 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, this task has been carried out exclusively by the authors in the context of a grant agreement between the European Food Safety Authority and the authors. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the European Food Safety Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by EFSA. EFSA reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.


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.
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