Tier 2: Past Year Management Survey

Photo by Katie Lee.

This online survey aims to detail a stakeholder’s previous year’s management practices. It will be implemented in year one of this project and continued every year thereafter. Designed to take about 20 -30 minutes, the survey questions will aim to document disease management and treatment strategies, supplemental feeding, queen management, colony over-wintering preparation, and other factors that may influence colony health such as colony location, honey production, and forage type. The resulting data will permit an objective comparison of management practices used by participating beekeepers. We intend to summarize the data using basic epidemiological reporting methods so that the data can speak for themselves (see text box as an example). In short, data will be presented in as simple and raw a form as possible with limited interpretation from our team.

In order to beta test this survey design, in winter of 2008-2009 we asked Pennsylvania beekeepers if they treated for Nosema in the fall. Twenty five percent of beekeepers reported they had treated their colonies. Those who had treated lost fewer colonies than those who had not.

Total Loss 29.8% vs. 38.3%
95% CI (19.9 – 39.7) (25.7 – 50.8)

Beekeepers n= 78, colonies = 956, X2 =5.6, P=0.017.

In year 1 of the project, a raw summary of treatment practices and percent mortality will be developed and distributed at Bee Health eXtension and other venues. Algorithms that permit automatic real-time calculation of these summaries will be developed in year 2 and beyond.

Honey bee colonies owned by Pensylvania beekeeper, Dave Hackenberg. Photo by Robert Snyder.

Learn more about the Bee Informed Partnership