In 2011 in the UK, according to figures collected by the BBKA, 17 per cent of colonies were lost over winter. But there were major variations across the country. Looking at average results for the last 5 years, beekeepers in the North have averaged losses of 24% with their southern counterparts consistently under 20%.
We don’t know what the winter of 2012-13 will bring but what if all beekeepers could effectively move their hives 300 miles south for winter?
According to figures published by the Met Office on average winter temperatures, this would have the effect of raising average winter temperatures by around 2C. This increase in hive temperature would mean less winter stores consumed, more chance of accessing winter stores in periods of sustained cold weather and an overall improvement in the chance of survival. Colonies that did survive would also start the year with more stores.
Our tests show that fitting the Bee Cosy can raise the internal hive temperature by 2 to 3C (3 to 5F) - so move your hives south for winter and fit a Bee Cosy.