This year’s Survey is mostly ‘new hat’!

Consistency is important. Not only in research but also in our daily lives and beekeeping. For example, as beekeepers we should consistently inspect our colonies for disease, for food stores, for adequate space! This is especially important at this time of the year when bees feel the urge to swarm. Another consistent activity we hope is in a beekeeper’s calendar: taking The Bee Informed Partnership’s Annual Colony Loss and Management Survey. As usual, the online survey went live  on April 1st. In the first week, almost 2,000 beekeepers have participated. If you haven’t participated taken it yet, please consider doing so here: Take the survey.…

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BIP National Loss and Management Survey Open!

The 2020-2021 Annual Loss and Management Survey is live! The Bee Informed Partnership team, in collaboration with the Auburn University Bee Lab, are enthusiastically inviting all U.S. beekeepers to take part in this year’s survey. The survey is open from April 1 to April 30, 2021. Take the Survey Today! The BIP survey is the longest national effort to monitor honey bee mortality rates in the U.S. The Loss survey was initiated in 2006 by the Apiary Inspectors of America. Then in 2010 the Management section was added in collaboration with the vanEngelsdorp Bee Lab at the University of Maryland. The survey not only estimates the…

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Happy Holidays from Bee Informed Partnership!

Season’s Greetings! As the Holiday season approaches, The Bee Informed Partnership team would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for the support you’ve shown throughout this year! You have helped us push through many obstacles that the global pandemic has put in front of so many nonprofits, and we can’t thank you enough. With your support, BIP serves the U.S. beekeeping community through several programs: The Technical Transfer Team Program offers commercial beekeepers access to a wide range of resources and reports on the health of their colonies to help them improve on their management practices to strengthen the health of…

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Hot off the press: BIP’s State Specific Colony Losses!

This blog comes to you from the Southern part of the U.S. - Alabama specifically - where beekeepers are currently sweating away as they diligently check their colonies for food and mites! They’re preparing for winter already! As you know, these past months has been unusual in many ways. For example, lots of beekeepers report difficulties finding sugar right now. Another example comes from the 2019/20 BIP Colony Loss Survey results. If you’ve read this year’s abstract or watched the news, you already know that we recently reported that beekeepers experienced the highest honey bee colony summer losses on record last year (2019). It was…

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IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!

This just never gets old: “IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! DO DO DOO DOOOOOO. DO DO DODODO!” – Europe The Annual Colony Loss and Management Survey is closing on April 30th May 8th! Please take advantage of the last couple of days to complete the online survey and tell your beekeeping friends to do the same. Every answer counts. This is especially true because the participation rate is so far lower compared to previous years. To be fair, this year is different in so many ways, but we are in this together. Therefore, we encourage you to Take the Survey Today and support BIP’s long term…

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Beekeeper’s Stewardship Practices and the Colony Loss Survey

How do beekeeper’s stewardship concepts relate to beekeeper beliefs and practices around Varroa management? That is the question asked by Christopher Thoms et. al. in their 2018 paper titled, "Beekeeper stewardship, colony loss, and Varroa destructor management" linked here. This study was based on data collected from the Bee Informed Partnership Loss and Management Survey, in collaboration with a team of environmental sociology experts from the University of Minnesota. They ask beekeepers about the advantages and disadvantages they see about managing for Varroa mites, and their motivations behind their treatment regimes. Two primary groups emerged, those whom we describe as Treatment Skeptics who avoid disturbing beehives…

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You Support Science by Answering the BIP Loss and Management Survey

* This is a profile of a 2019 paper: Use of Chemical and Nonchemical Methods for the Control of Va­rroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) and the Associated Winter Colony Losses in U.S. Beekeeping Operations The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) Loss and Management Survey is open for your responses for the whole month of April. We would like as many beekeepers as possible to fill it in during the remainder of the month. Every year that you fill out the survey you are making a valuable contribution to science, and to our understanding of what is going on in beekeeping around the country. With that in mind,…

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(Spo)oktober Blog: Don’t be afraid of State Specific Colony Losses!

Happy Fall y’all! In normal life, “Fall” means Halloween (and dressing up as fatbody-sucking Varroa mite) and Thanksgiving (we certainly are grateful to be part of the beekeeper community). In beekeeping life, “Fall” means that nectar flows come to an end, queens lay fewer eggs, winter bees are being reared and we have to (still) deal with Varroa mites. All this is happening for a reason: To get the bees ready for and successfully bring them through winter. (Hard to believe here in Alabama where it is still blazing hot!) You may remember that we reported the highest honey bee colony winter losses since the…

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NOW LIVE! The 2018-2019 Colony Loss and Management Survey!

Good morning America! It’s beautiful outside! The birds are chirping and the bees are flying! You may even notice a few flowers outside too! Here in the South, our many azaleas are in full bloom! This means Spring is upon us! And of course, Spring means one thing: it’s time to take the Bee Informed Partnership’s annual Colony Loss and Management Survey! It’s easy! One click and you are in, ready to take the survey and to serve our nation’s beekeeping industry: TAKE THE SURVEY TODAY! The information that you provide will be invaluable to our understanding of honey bee health around the country. As…

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BIP National Loss Survey Comparison with NASS results

The National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) recently reported the results of its second honey bee colony loss survey. The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) also recently published preliminary loss results covering the same period. Despite the differences in methodology and sample sizes, these two surveys yielded comparable results. Specifically, we estimate 33.23% losses based on the BIP survey, and we estimate 35.39% losses when we use BIP methods to calculate losses from the NASS survey (Table 1). This is reassuring as it suggests past BIP surveys are representative of national losses despite the non-random nature of the BIP respondent pool. Both of these surveys were created…

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