Summary of winter honey bee colony losses in Slovakia between the years 2009 and 2015

Róbert Chlebo, Jozef Čápek


Received: 2015-07-22 | Accepted: 2015-11-10 | Available online: 2016-03-24

Between the seasons 2009/2010 and 2014/2015 was evaluated 1305 questionnaires in total, received from Slovak beekeepers. Standard questionnaires of COST working group COLOSS were used with sets of questions related to overwintering of bee colonies and possible reasons of its losses. In season 2009/2010 winter losses in Slovakia reached 7,10%, subsequently in 2010/2011 - 5,96%, 2011/2012 - 9,70%, 2012/2013 - 9,50%, 2013/2014 - 8,84%, 2014/2015 - 10,00%. Expected causes of winter mortality (starvation, poor queen´s quality, parasitism, robbery) were evaluated in the study to detect the presence of depopulation syndrome of bee colonies – CCD (colony collapse disorder) reported from some North American and European areas. As acceptable level of winter losses is generally considered level 10%, which was not exceeded in any season, thereby Slovakia ranks among countries with the lowest winter mortality of bee colonies worldwide. Possible reason of this situation is most probably multiple Varroa treatment throughout the year, but other reasons are discussed as well in the study. 

Keywords: bee colony losses, honey bee, beekeeping


JOHNSON. R. (2007) Recent honey bee colony declines. CRS Report for Congress RL33938.

KAPLAN, K. (2008) Colony Collapse Disorder: A Complex Buzz. Agric. Res. Magazine, vol. 6, no.5, pp. 8-11.

MARTIN-HERNANDEZ, R. et al. (2007) Outcome of Colonization of Apis mellifera by Nosema ceranae. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., vol. 73, no. 20, pp. 6311-6338.

Neumann. P. (2008) An introduction to honeybee colony losses. In: Proceedings of the 3rd Europan Conference of Apidology, Belfast.

NEUMANN, P. and CARRECK, N. L. (2010) Honey bee colony losses. Journal of Apicultural Research, vol. 49, no.1, pp. 1-6. doi:

VAN DER ZEE, R. et al. (2012) Managed honey bee colony losses in Canada, China, Europe, Israel and Turkey, for the winters of 2008–2009 and 2009–2010. Journal of Apicultural Research, vol. 51, no.1, pp. 100-114. doi:

VAN DER ZEE, R. et al. (2013) Standard survey methods for estimating colony losses and explanatory risk factors in Apis mellifera. Journal of Apicultural Research, vol. 52, no.4. doi:

VAN DER ZEE, R. et al. (2014) Results of international standardised beekeeper surveys of colony losses for winter 2012-2013: analysis of winter loss rates and mixed effects modelling of risk factors for winter loss. Journal of Apicultural Research, vol. 53, no.1, pp. 19-34. doi:

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Acta Fytotechnica et Zootechnica

© Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources