Investigation of honey bee losses in Austria 2006 - 2008
In the years 2006 to 2008 honey bee losses in Austrian apiaries were investigated in order to find their causes. 532 bee samples from 109 apiaries were investigated. The bee samples originated from colonies with different and more or less distinct disease symptoms. They were investigated for their pathogen and parasite status. 50 samples came from suspicion of poisoning.
Diseases and Parasites:
Nosema spp., Malpighamoeba mellificae and Acarapis woodi were tested by light microscopy.
Nosema sp. was more often detected in bees from dead colonies compared to normally developing colonies.
Analysis of pesticide residues:
50 samples from 32 apiaries were suspected for pesticide poisoning. Residue analysis was carried out by GC-MS and LC-MS-MS-methods. Poisoning by pesticides was confirmed only in 4 cases out of 24 investigated samples. In two cases there was evidence of intentional poisoning by use of Fenthion and Chlorpyrifos respectively. In two cases of accidental poisoning by the use of plant protection products Dimethoat and Methiocarb were found in the bee samples.