Declines in managed bee colonies date back to the mid 1960s in Europe but have accelerated since 1998, especially in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In North America, losses of honey bee colonies since 2004 have left the continent with fewer managed pollinators than at any time in the past 50 years.
Chinese bee keepers, who manage both western and eastern species of honey bees, have recently “faced several inexplicable and complex symptoms of colony losses in both species”.
A quarter of beekeepers in Japan “have recently been confronted with sudden losses of their bee colonies”.
In Africa, beekeepers along the Egyptian Nile have been reporting signs of ‘colony collapse disorder’ although to date there are no other confirmed reports from the rest of the continent.
More: The Independent: Decline of honey bees now a global phenomenon, says United Nations