Measures taken - the Swiss national action plan for bee health

  • Katja Knauer Federal office for agriculture, Schwarzenburgstrasse, 3003 Bern Schweiz
Schlagworte: prevention, diseases, Varroa, plant protection product, habiat, pollination


The annual winter losses of honey bees in Switzerland vary between 9% and 23% during the years 2008 to 2019 and are exceeding the as normal defined 10% level. The causes for the losses can have several reasons. However, one of the main reasons is the infection of the honeybees with the Varroa mite. Therefore, a health services for bees was founded to offer education programs for beekeepers and to support beekeepers in preventing and combating diseases. Switzerland further decided in 2014 to implement an action plan to promote the health of bees. Measures have been taken in the areas of disease prevention, promotion of food supply and reduction of risks from plant protection products. Immediate measures have been implemented such as the inclusion of a flowering strip in the Direct Payments Ordinance and measures to protect bees from plant protection products. Switzerland is actively involved in the development of new OECD test guidelines to evaluate the acute and chronic risk to honey- and wild bees. Honey and wild bees play an important role in pollination of agricultural crops and wild plants. The current situation is in evaluation to decide if further measures are needed.