April 2, 2017
April 1st is usually regarded as a time to play jokes and pranks on fellow family members, neighbors, and coworkers and it is not restricted to the US – it is a day recognized by many other countries and cultures dating back to at least the 14th century. For those of us at the Bee Informed Partnership, we begin preparing at least a month ahead of time, not for playing pranks, but to get ready for our annual loss and management survey.
In just 1 week, our annual online survey will go live to record losses from beekeepers all over the country independent of operation size. Whether you manage 1 colony or tens of thousands of colonies, this is your opportunity to record what your summer, winter and annual losses were for the past year! If you continue past the loss survey and spend some time to take our management survey, and we hope that you do, you will provide valuable information that allows us to track those practices associated with reduced or increased colony losses. We’ve matured as an organization and instead of static reports, we now offer a dynamic management tool to help you improve your beekeeper practices that is publically available to everyone. You can find it here: https://bip2.beeinformed.org/survey
Our dynamic reporting tool puts the power of interacting with our large database in your hands! Select the operation size, state, survey year and walk through your management practices to see how they correlate with losses. No joke! Please go to our website at www.beeinformed.org on April 1st and take the survey!
Winter colony loss in all survey years based on formic acid use across all operational sizes. Beekeepers who used formic acid to control for varroa mites lost >21% fewer colonies (8.4 percentage points) than beekeepers who did not use formic acid. (Courtesy of the Bee Informed Partnership, Inc.
By Karen Rennich