An EU survey into the impact of pests and diseases on honey bees found death rates were lower than feared, in part countering concerns about the collapse of colonies of the crop-pollinating insects.
The study of 32,000 bee colonies across 17 EU member states from late 2012 until summer 2013 found winter mortality rates ranged from 3.5% to 33.6%.
The winter of 2012-13 was particularly cold and the highest mortality rates were in northern countries with harsher climates.
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