Bees and Society

Bee hive
Bee hive

In Switzerland bees are kept in various ways. There are about 17 500 beekeepers with 165 000 bee colonies. This means that each beekeeper has on the average 10 colonies. The majority (about 80%) uses Swiss beehives in bee houses with an opening at the rear, about 15 % Dadant and 5 % are multiple-storey hives. Migratory beekeeping is rare. The honey sources differ depending on the various geographic regions. Our most important honey plants are: dandelion, fruit trees, rape, robinia, sweet chestnut, as well as various honeydew-yielding trees, mainly coniferous and deciduous trees. The average honey harvest is about 20 kg per colony. Once in 10 years there are exceptionally high honeydew honey harvests. Switzerland has a bee density of 4.0 colonies per square kilometre, which is one of the highest in the world. As bees are kept all over Switzerland the pollination of all cultivated and wild plants is assured.

Detailed information on beekeeping in Switzerland and on the last 125 years of its history:

Bienenhaltung in der Schweiz
P. Fluri, P. Schenk, R. Frick (2004) Beekeeping in Switzerland (German (PDF, 550 kB, 14.09.2016) and French (PDF, 550 kB, 15.09.2016))