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UK: Bees do better in the city than the countryside because of their ‘varied diet’

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Urban rooftop and suburban garden bees produced 27.5 lbs of honey per hive this year on average

By Katie Morley
Telegraph
Oct 23, 2017

Excerpt:

Honeybees in cities and suburban areas are producing more honey than those in rural areas, figures show, amid fears that the species is in grave decline.

Urban rooftop and suburban garden bees produced 27.5 lbs of honey per hive this year on average, according to a survey by the British Beekeepers Association. This compares to rural gardens, which produced an average of 22.5 lbs of honey per hive, around a fifth less.

Previous research has shown that honeybees in towns and cities enjoy a more diverse diet and find a richer diversity of pollen. This is because they visit a much wider range of flowers than bees foraging in the countryside.

The survey revealed that beekeepers in England overall produced an average 23.8 lbs of honey per hive this year, down by 2.3 lbs on last year. While weather can cause fluctuations in honey yield, the organisation said the species is in steady overall decline.

Long-time beekeepers say a crop of up to 100lbs, more than four times today’s average, was typical in the 1950s. Britain differs from the rest of Europe in that beekeeping is mostly carried out by amateur beekeepers rather than bee farmers, the BBKA said.

Read the complete article here.