Don’t panic! We are, of course, referring to the English Doomsday book of 1086 that recorded a great survey of livestock numbers and landowners wealth for William the Conqueror (and not news of doom and gloom).
That’s right, the current state of European honeybee keeping (and Kosovo and Norway) has been compiled by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Honeybee Health.
Which much concern over sudden hive death and the spread of the Varroa mite it was decided it was high time for a European database in which all information about bee keeping in Europe can be found.
Some interesting facts uncovered in the survey: there are estimated to be 620 000 beekeepers in the EU. Honey production in 2010 was approx. 220 000 tons. Honey varied in price from 1.5 to 40 €/kg across the union.
It is hoped that bee keeper registration and better information on bee production can help in the struggle to replace lost honey bee stocks.
An article detailing the survey is published in the PLOS online journal.