Black Honeybee May Be Solution to Decreasing Bee Population
The native black honeybee, found only in a few remote parts of the country, could help reverse the dramatic decline in honeybees in Britain, say experts.
Around a third of honeybee hives were wiped out across the UK last year. Although no one knows why honeybees are dying in such huge numbers, pesticides, poor weather, parasites, disease and starvation have all been implicated. Native black honeybees are considered by some beekeepers to be more aggressive and poorer at producing honey than foreign strains.
The Co-operative Group has today launched a fund to map locations of the rare, hardy British black variety and to develop a breeding programme to increase their numbers.
Beekeepers who think they have native or near native black honeybees will be asked to send samples to BIBBA (Bee Breeders’ Association), who will carry out tests to determine their origins.