Challenges for bees

Pollinators face numerous challenges in much of the modern world. The importance and interplay of these multiple stress factors differ from region to region.

So what challenges do honey bees face?

The neonicotinoid debate – a political one

After 20 years of intense research, no adverse effects at honey bee colony level have been found to be caused by systemic neonicotinoid residues in blossoms of seed-treated crops under realistic field conditions.

Intoxication incidents with seed treatment products led to bee mortalities in 2008 in Germany and Slovenia; they were accidents, caused by a faulty seed treatment; since then, many safety measures have been put in place to even further reduce the risk of dust drift harming pollinators during sowing.

Find further details in:
The bee safety of neonicotinoid insecticides

The Varroa mite  major threat to honey bees

The Varroa mite is the honey bee’s greatest enemy

// The mite is about 1.6 millimeters long.

// It weakens the bee’s immune system, causing diseases to become more virulent.

// It transmits viruses directly into the bees’ haemolymph and/or fat body, making previously harmless viruses lethal. These viruses spread quickly across bee colonies.

To learn more, check our brochure: The Varroa Mite

The following pictures and graphic material is available for download. Feel free to use it, e.g. for your Varroa training courses:


Lack of nutrition and habitat  major issue for wild bees

Many wild bee species are vulnerable to factors affecting their habitat and availability of forage Thus, structural changes to their living environments, for instance due to intensive agriculture and urbanization, are a challenge in many cases.

Many wild bees forage specifically on certain plants and depend on particular habitat and nesting structures. Landscapes should, ideally, offer a diversity of structures to foster insect species biodiversity.

Find out more about what you can do to help

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