Honeybee decline beginning to reverse

After a number of years of concerns about the high proportion of honeybee colonies dying out over winter, there has been some good news for beekeepers and garden and greenhouse lovers.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has published figures from the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) which show that around 80 per cent of colonies survived the winter.

This is in comparison to the 70 per cent seen in previous years and is even more positive considering there are now more than twice the number of beehives in the UK as there were in 2007.

BBKA president Martin Smith told the RHS: "It shows that our honeybees are slowly moving out of intensive care but they are still not healthy enough.

"Winter losses of between seven and ten per cent are acceptable: the current rate is not."

However, while the problem appears to be easing in the UK, things are a lot different across the pond.

Figures from the US show that more than a third of honeybee colonies have died out over winter for the fourth year in a row.

The decline is being attributed to Colony Collapse Disorder, which is yet to be seen in the UK.

Meanwhile, the RHS recently appointed a new director-general in the shape of former Kuoni managing director Sue Biggs.