Risk factors for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) mortality in Estonian apiaries during 2012–2013
Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwaldi 62, EE51006 Tartu, Estonia
*Correspondence: email@example.com; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6478-7047
In light of the global increase in honey bee colony losses, risk factors regarding beekeeping management practices and honey bee diseases have been studied intensively during the last decade. Some risk factors have been outlined, but the correlation of evidence between relevant factors coinciding with honey bee mortality still needs to be clarified. The current study used the two-year data collected in frames of the European Commission EPILOBEE project. Previously, the data from Estonian apiaries were analysed together with the data from all 17 participating European countries in the consortium. In the current study, data from Estonian apiaries were targeted separately. In total, 196 apiaries containing 2,439 colonies all over Estonia were included in this dataset. The study aimed to clarify the risk factors that would predict colony losses in Estonia. The main factors increasing colony mortality after winter were the size of the apiary, Varroa destructor mite count, infestation with Paenibacillus larvae, and lack of farmlands around the apiary. No significant risk factors in relation to honey bee summer mortality were detected.