The 2021-2022 Annual Loss and Management Survey is live on April 1st.
New season, new survey! Our team is so excited to share with you our brand new survey.
The survey is open from April 1 to April 30, 2022.
The Loss and Management Survey is a national effort that tracks long-term trends of U.S. honey bee colony health. The survey’s main objective is to monitor colony loss rates that beekeepers experience each year, the management actions that beekeepers take, and to compare these losses and practices among all types of beekeeping operations − from backyard hobbyists managing fewer than 50 colonies to large, multistate commercial operations with more than 500 colonies. This not only allows us to identify what groups or management practices are associated with higher colony loss rates, but also enables us to track how beekeepers adapt over time to respond to the changing circumstances of beekeeping. You can think of the survey as a barometer for U.S. honey bee health.
Be part of the 10% (*)
(*) In previous years, about one in 10 U.S. beekeepers – and 14% of the nation’s estimated 2.6 million colonies – were represented in the survey. We hope that this year we will have even greater participation from the beekeeping community!
Long tradition, new flavor
With this year’s Survey, we are building on our past work in monitoring colony losses and exploring the relationship between losses and management. While the Loss Survey has been running since 2007 (and a Management section was added in 2010), we continually want to make it better!
The surveys now also focus on a specific theme every year, which will reoccur based on a regular rotation schedule. Last year, the Survey focused on “Queens and New Colonies” (particularly nucs and splits). This year, the focus will be “Nutrition and Environment”. By focusing on one topic each year, the survey is shorter and more focused!
What to expect and how to prepare
If you’ve taken the survey in the past, you will notice we are using a brand new platform: our own! Our IT team worked tirelessly to create a friendlier layout of the survey.
Let’s look at the different sections, step by step:
1 – Colony Loss Questions
Not a lot of changes here, but you might want to have a couple of numbers in mind before you begin.
We’re asking you to report the number of colonies you managed at specific times of the year (specifically, April 1st 2021, October 1st 2021, and April 1st 2022) as well as the activities that make your colony number fluctuate (splits, combinations, etc.). Note that for commercial beekeepers, we allow a more flexible “beekeeper year”, based on the dates you started to make splits in your operation.
2 – Core Management Questions
This is a general set of questions that, despite the rotating main topic, we find important to ask every year. For example, how you obtain new colonies and queens; when you monitor for pests and diseases; when and how you treated for Varroa; what feed did you apply and when. We keep it high level to get an overall picture of what beekeepers do.
3 – Year-specific (rotating) Management Questions
This is the section in which we dig deep on one particular topic every year. In 2022: nutrition and environmental questions. For example, we will ask you to tell us about the seasonality of nectar and pollen flows, details about how you provided feed to your colonies, what your honey harvest was, if you actively participated in the pollination of agricultural crops, and whether your colonies experienced issues associated with pesticide exposure, or unusual weather events.
4 – Demographic Questions
We conclude the survey with an array of demographic questions sociologists like to ask, and the resources you are using to enhance your knowledge about beekeeping.
See the previews for a full view of what to expect:
Backyard survey version (1-50 colonies on October 1st)
Commercial survey version (51+ colonies on October 1st)
We made enormous efforts to update the look of our online survey to make it easier and faster to answer the questionnaire. We hope you’ll like it, and take this survey as a chance to look back on your last beekeeping year and all the efforts you put into your bees!
Ready to take the survey?
Start here: https://beeinformed.org/take-survey/
We also rely heavily on word of mouth to reach as many beekeepers as possible. Please share the survey announcement far and wide with your beekeeping friends and local clubs!
Thank you for your help!