Category Archives: 2015 Survey




Nathalie Steinhauer1, Karen Rennich1, Kathleen Lee2, Jeffery Pettis3, David R. Tarpy4, Juliana Rangel5, Dewey Caron6, Ramesh Sagili6, John A. Skinner7, Michael E. Wilson7, James T. Wilkes8, Keith S. Delaplane9, Robyn Rose10, Dennis vanEngelsdorp1 1 Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 2 Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108 3 United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 4 Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC 27695 5 Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 6 Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331 7 Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 8 Department of Computer Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608 9 Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 10 United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Riverdale, MD

The Bee Informed Partnership (, BIPin collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is releasing preliminary results for the ninth annual national survey of honey bee colony losses. For the 2014/2015 winter season, a preliminary 6,128 beekeepers in the United States provided valid responses. Collectively, these beekeepers managed 398,247 colonies in October 2014, representing about 14.5% of the country’s estimated 2.74 million managed honey bee colonies1.

About two-thirds of the respondents (67.2%) experienced winter colony loss rates greater than the average self-reported acceptable winter mortality rate of 18.7%. Preliminary results estimate that a total of 23.1% of the colonies managed in the Unites States were lost over the 2014/2015 winter. This would represent a decrease in losses of 0.6% compared to the previous 2013/2014 winter, which had reported a total loss estimated at 23.7%. This is the second year in a row the reported colony loss rate was notably lower than the 9-year average total loss of 28.7% (see Figure 1 next page).

Beekeepers do not only lose colonies in the winter but also throughout the summer, sometimes at significant levels. To quantify this claim of non-winter colony mortality of surveyed beekeepers, we have included summer and annual colony losses since 2010/2011. In the summer of 2014 (April – October), colony losses surpassed winter losses at 27.4% (total summer loss). This compares to summer losses of 19.8% in 2013. Importantly, commercial beekeepers appear to consistently lose greater numbers of colonies over the summer months than over the winter months, whereas the opposite seems true for smaller-scale beekeepers. Responding beekeepers reported losing 42.1% of the total number of colonies managed over the last year (total annual loss, between April 2014 and April 2015). This represents the second highest annual loss recorded to date.Fig.1

Figure 1: Summary of the total colony losses overwinter (October 1 – April 1) and over the year (April 1 – April 1) of managed honey bee colonies in the United States. The acceptable range is the average percentage of acceptable colony losses declared by the survey participants in each of the nine years of the survey. Winter and Annual losses are calculated based on different respondent pools.

As in previous years, colony losses were not consistent across the country, with annual losses exceeding 60% in several states, while Hawaii reported the lowest total annual colony loss of ~14% (see Figure 2). Fig.2

Figure 2: Total annual loss (%) 2014-2015 by state. Respondents who managed colonies in more than one state had all of their colonies counted in each state in which they reported managing colonies. Data for states with fewer than five respondents are withheld.

This survey was conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, which receives a majority of its funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA (award number: 2011-67007-20017).

1 Based on NASS 2015 figures 2 Previous survey results found a total colony loss in the winters of 24% in the winter of 2013/2014, 30% in 2012/2013, 22% in 2011/2012, 30% in 2010/2011, 32% in 2009/2010, 29% in 2008/2009, 36% in 2007/2008, and 32% in 2006/2007 (see reference list).  Lee, KV; Steinhauer, N; Rennich, K; Wilson, ME; Tarpy, DR; Caron, DM; Rose, R; Delaplane, KS; Baylis, K; Lengerich, EJ; Pettis, J; Skinner, JA; Wilkes, JT; Sagili, R; vanEngelsdorp, D; for the Bee Informed Partnership (2015) A national survey of managed honey bee 2013–2014 annual colony losses in the USA. Apidologie, 1–14. DOI:10.1007/s13592-015-0356-z  Steinhauer, NA; Rennich, K; Wilson, ME; Caron, DM; Lengerich, EJ; Pettis, JS; Rose, R; Skinner, JA; Tarpy, DR; Wilkes, JT; vanEngelsdorp, D (2014) A national survey of managed honey bee 2012-2013 annual colony losses in the USA: results from the Bee Informed Partnership. Journal of Apicultural Research, 53(1): 1–18. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.  Spleen, AM; Lengerich, EJ; Rennich, K; Caron, D; Rose, R; Pettis, JS; Henson, M; Wilkes, JT; Wilson, M; Stitzinger, J; Lee, K; Andree, M; Snyder, R; vanEngelsdorp, D (2013) A national survey of managed honey bee 2011-12 winter colony losses in the United States: results from the Bee Informed Partnership. Journal of Apicultural Research, 52(2): 44–53. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.  vanEngelsdorp, D; Caron, D; Hayes, J; Underwood, R; Henson, M; Rennich, K; Spleen, A; Andree, M; Snyder, R; Lee, K; Roccasecca, K; Wilson, M; Wilkes, J; Lengerich, E; Pettis, J (2012) A national survey of managed honey bee 2010-11 winter colony losses in the USA: results from the Bee Informed Partnership. Journal of Apicultural Research, 51(1): 115–124. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.  vanEngelsdorp, D; Hayes, J; Underwood, RM; Caron, D; Pettis, J (2011) A survey of managed honey bee colony losses in the USA, fall 2009 to winter 2010. Journal of Apicultural Research, 50(1): 1–10. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.  vanEngelsdorp, D; Hayes, J; Underwood, RM; Pettis, JS (2010) A survey of honey bee colony losses in the United States, fall 2008 to spring 2009. Journal of Apicultural Research, 49(1): 7–14. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.  vanEngelsdorp, D; Hayes, J; Underwood, RM; Pettis, J (2008) A Survey of Honey Bee Colony Losses in the U.S., Fall 2007 to Spring 2008. PLoS ONE, 3(12). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.000407  vanEngelsdorp, D; Underwood, R; Caron, D; Hayes, J (2007) An estimate of managed colony losses in the winter of 2006-2007: American Bee Journal 147(7):599-603

Note: This is a preliminary analysis. Sample sizes and estimates are likely to change. A more detailed final report is being prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed journal at a later date.

Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists Statement on Honey Bee Wintering Losses in Canada (2015) = 16.4%
The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) conducts an annual honey bee wintering loss survey using a set of harmonized questions based on national beekeeping industry profiles.Provincial Apiculturists collected survey data from beekeepers across Canada who own 362,949 honey colonies. This represents 50.8% of all colonies operated and wintered in Canada in 2014. The national average percentage of colony winter loss was 16.4%. Provincial averages ranged from 10.4-37.8%; the highest loss inOntario was a decrease of 34.8% compared to the 58.0% loss reported in 2013/14. Overall, the reported national colony loss is one of the lowest losses since 2006/07 and represents a decrease of 34.4% from 2013/14 winter losses.
Respondents reported considerable variation in identifying and ranking the top 4 possible causes of colony losses. Answers included starvation, weak colonies, poor queens, Nosema and weather conditions. Beekeepers also responded to questions on management of Varroa mites, Nosema and American foulbrood. Over 73% of beekeepers monitored Varroa infestation, the majority using controls used Apivar™, formic acid and oxalic acid for treatments. Despite monitoring Nosema infections less frequently, many beekeepers regularly used fumagillin to treat nosemosis.
Honey Bee Winter Loss in Canada since 2007
In Canada, winter loss shows a declining trend since 2010 (Fig 1). The winter losses were highest in 2007 to 2009 ranging from 29.0 – 35% (average 32.6%). From 2010 to 2015, losses ranged from 16.4 to 29.3% (average 23.8%).can9
It should be noted that the reported winter loss in 2014/2015 was in most of the provinces within the acceptable long term targeted winter loss by beekeepers. These reports of multi-year surveys provide evidence that Canadian beekeepers have been successfully addressing bee health issues, although beekeepers have access to few effective chemical products to control Varroa mite and Nosema. If resistance develops today to any of these products and alternative treatments are not
available or are still under development, beekeepers will suffer serious consequences. Ultimately, beekeepers must consider an integrated approach to maintain healthy bees. This approach is not only limited to pest management, but it includes proper nutrition, large healthy bee populations throughout the year, and reducing exposure to pesticides.
Losses of honey bee colonies over the 2014/15 winter – Preliminary results from Europe =17.4%
The honey bee research association COLOSS provided preliminary results of their international study of colony losses over the 2014-15 winter. Data were collected from 31 countries. Egypt, Russia and the Ukraine participated for the first time in this initiative, which is the largest and longest running international study of honey bee colony losses. In total 23,234 respondents provided overwintering mortality and other data of their colonies.

Collectively, all responding beekeepers managed 469,249 honey bee colonies. 67,914 of these colonies were dead after winter and an estimated 3 % of these colonies were lost because of unsolvable queen problems after winter. A preliminary analysis of the data shows that the mortality rate over the 2014-15 winter varied between countries, ranging from 5 % in Norway to 25 % in Austria, and there were also marked regional differences within most countries. The overall proportion of colonies lost (including colonies with unsolvable queen problems after winter) was estimated as 17.4 %, which was twice that of the previous winter.

The protocol used to collect this COLOSS data has been internationally standardized to allow comparisons and joint analysis of the data. A more detailed analysis of risk factors calculated from the whole dataset , as well as further colony loss data from other countries, will be published later in the year.

International Data Coordinator for the COLOSS Monitoring and Diagnosis Working Group Romée van der Zee from the Dutch Centre for Bee Research says: “North European countries have traditionally had lower losses,compared to west and central European countries. This can partly be explained by the later start of the breeding season of their honey bee colonies due to low temperatures in March/April, as was the case in 2014. This later start limits the number of brood cycles of the varroa mite, one of the main parasites of honey bees. However, honey bee colony loss is a multifactorial problem. There is clearly also a variation in losses between areas, which is not dependent on the varroa mite. One of the main aims of our network is to identify and describe such areas.”can10
Sources: BIP

To download a copy of this report click here

Screen Bottom Boards by Dewey M. Caron

Screen Bottom Boards (SBB) have a number of uses in our bee stewardship. They are widely substituted for a solid bottom board.  A 1939 Delaware beekeeper removed his solid bottom and left his colony open at the bottom, which he termed bottomless beekeeping. There truly is nothing “new” in our beekeeping practice of using a screened bottom on hives. Although many beekeepers use SBB to control varroa, BIP and PNW surveys clearly point out they are not a very effective varroa mite control tool.

In our national BIP surveys, fully 95% of respondents indicate they have modified the colony bottom board and now use a screen bottom board. sbb1 Our PNW Honey Bee Survey also asked respondents about screen bottom board use. Among Oregon and Washington hobbyist (backyarders or small-scale beekeepers), 79% of the 250 respondents said they used screened bottoms; 66% used them on all their hives with the remaining 13% using them on a percentage of their hives (See figure right).

Comparing overwinter loss percentage, there was no difference for the 21% who did not use SBB (27% loss rate , same as tsbb2he overall 250 respondent base) compared to the79% who did (25% middle column in left graphic  – column on right of graphic is overall loss rate for those beekeepers using either 8-frame or 10 frame Langstroth hives – when the data for individuals who used other hive types besides Langstroth is included, the overall overwinter loss rate for backyarders was 29%).

We also asked whether they blocked colony SBBs during the winter. The majority (51%) left them open over the winter period sbb3(never response). 19% sometimes blocked them and 31% said they closed them (always response) during the winter (see graphic right). When we examined winter losses for this response, there was no statistical dfference in loss, although the trend was for lower losses when the SBB were closed  (24% vs 31%).

As stated above, SBB are not an effective mite control tool, although most beekeepers state they are using them for that reason. In our PNW survey, respondent beekeepers who said they used bottom boards as a non-chemical treatment option for varroa mites, had no statistical improvement in survivability.  Langstroth 8-frame beekeepers who listed SBB use, entered winter with 97 colonies losing 25 by the spring (=25% loss rate) and Langstroth 10-frame beekeepers entered winter with 596 colonies of which 440 survived ( =26% loss rate); other hive types included in the survey (5-frame nucs, top bar hives or Warre hives) do not easily lend themselves to bottom modification with screening, although some individuals with such hives may use a partial bottom screen in place of a solid bottom.

With our Bee Informed National survey (, use of SBB did not improve winter survival rate in any of our survey years when we directly compared their use with loss rates. However in survey year 2013-2014, northern beekeepers did have about a 10% decrease in losses when SBB were used compared to southern beekeepers. Experimental studies on SBB and mite population levels show either no or this slight ~10% improvement in reducing mite population levels when SBB are used.

So what can SBB do to benefit our bees?

Using a screen bottom aids greatly in hive ventilation. sbb4 It can be used with upper entrances at the covers or with ventilation ports added to hive bodies. Air circulation for better ventilation can be further aided by pushing the outer frames inward a bit to allow air circulation upward between the outer frame and box wall. Heavy burr and brace combs, sometimes due to incorrect bee spacing between the hive boxes, when both the bottom bar and the dropping of the top bars below the rim creates a ½ inch of larger space, and heavy propolis use in the fall, may reduce good air circulation in the boxes.

During winter, beekeepers at more northerly locations or higher elevations often close or reduce the screen opening beneath their colonies. It is not advisable to have wind blowing into the bottom of a winter colony but an air space beneath the colony, with screen bottom board left open, is not detrimental to colony wintering. The dead air space and moderating soil temperatures may be helpful. Often this dead space beneath a screened bottom can be created with hive stand configuration.

Another advantage of a screen bottom board is that it provides for a convenient garbage pit to remove debris and fallen mites from a colony. The original Langstroth hive had such a feature but it was discontinued when the hive construction was simplified. They were thought to promote wax moth with the design Langstroth used.

Screen Bottoms may offer some improvement for some beekeepers, particularly where winter confinement period is long and when mite populations are lower. In is not clear if this improvement is due to mites alone or to the other effects a screen vs closed bottom may have on colony survivability (see below). As regards varroa mites they should be considered a tool that may reduce winter losses when used in combination with other mite control treatments and tools.

August 2015 Dewey M. Caron

To download a copy of this report click here

To Use or Not To Use Screened Bottom Boards – That is the question

Question emailed after a club meeting…

I was at your presentation last Monday night in Olympia.  I was the one that asked if you could phrase a question in your survey about whether the keeper using a screen bottom board leaves the sliding board in or has an open screen floor.  The reason I asked is because after using screen bottom boards for years, I discovered, in my apiary, that an open screen floor is a death sentence for a colony in the Pacific Northwest. The result that the loss rate was about the same for using SBB as it was for not using them, I really believe needs clarification in details.

Perhaps questions along the lines of;

If you use SBB’s what best describes your management style with them? I have open screen floors. I have sliding boards/enclosed SBBs. I use my SBB’s in correlation with an IPM program.

Response by Dewey

We really do have a limitation on the numbers of questions we can put on the survey. You pose some interesting questions however and we will consider some revisions to clarify for next survey year.

I really think our survey this year does however point out that whether one uses a SBB and whether one leaves it open over the winter or closes it, makes NO DIFFERENCE at least with respect to overwinter losses. This is not to dismiss your experience. What works for you and your apiaries consistently please don’t change because others might not do it the same way. If you find an open bottom screen is detrimental, “a death sentence”, then don’t change back to one.

For others however the result was different. In our 2015 survey when we asked the question on SBB use as a non-chemical treatment we found for those 150 individuals. For Langstroth 8 frame hives 97 fall colonies had 73 still alive in the spring =25% loss rate and for those with Langstroth 10 frame hives of 596 fall colonies there were 440 alive the next spring  = 26% loss rate. The overall loss rate was 27% with a 3 % rate of variation. This means the Langstroth 8 and 10 frame losses fell within the loss rate and were not significantly lower, i.e. no real difference between 25% or 27%.

When I compared the loss rate for those 33 individuals who said they did not use screen bottom boards, their loss rate was 25% and for those individuals who said they had a SBB on 100% of their colonies (97 individuals) the loss rate was 27%. There is no significant difference between 25% and 27% . There were a small number who used SBB on less than 100% of their colonies but I did not do that analysis as there were too few numbers to create a significant result.

Finally I did ask indirectly about what you were interested in learning. I asked in survey if SBB were closed in the winter (the never response) or they were always left open. Those who checked never (107 total) had 24% loss, those who checked sometimes had 27% loss, and those who closed them in winter (55 totals) had 31%, the heaviest loss.  Although this is a trend, there is no statistical difference in these numbers, i.e. 31%-27% =25%.

So in retrospect I think I did ask the three questions you had except I didn’t specify if the screens had sliding boards or some other way of closing,(for those who did close. This result agrees with our larger data base of BIP – no difference evident in winter survival whether the bottom is a screen or solid bottom board or whether the board is open for part of the year. We do recommend it be closed when fumigating with Apiguard or Api Life Var – at least for that first week.


2015 Survey Q & A – Not for the Commercial or Semi-Commercial Beekeepers

Q-Tried to do this survey online and failed. Section4: the format did not allow to enter the necessary information and, short of making numbers up, the survey doesn’t let you continue to the next page. Very frustrating.
Section 3b: These numbers are a guess and can be misleading. All we know is that after combining, requeening with nucs, and equalizing colonies in Jan 2015 from what had been 64 overwintered “units”, we ended up with 55 queenright colonies (pollinating units for CA almonds).
Section 4 Origination: Because we sold the majority of our 2013 overwintered and 2014 split hives, these numbers are a guess (the rations not the total). It’s too time intensive to figure out form the records which of the surviving colonies originated in 2013 or as in 2014 as a split.
Section 7.1 Sorry but for me this survey looses in credibility when it uses “minimal hive inspection”, “Apiary colony configuration” and “Apiary site selection” are listed as options for mite control practices. If some people feel that way, why not let them write it in under “other”?

A-Response to Semi-Commercial Beekeeper
I appreciate your attempting to do an electronic survey on 2014-2015 bee losses. I am sorry you had such difficulties with the electronic site and had to send a paper copy. Your effort was commendable.
The survey is meant for backyarders – those with one to a couple of apiary sites – so it is not easy for operations such as —— to fit answers into the offerings (either of the electronic or paper versions).
You indicted on Section 2 – the section used to compute losses – that this was a difficult question to answer – but what you sent is exactly what we were looking for. You indicated of 64 fall colonies 55 were counted in the spring after all the management. Those with 1000’s of colonies have the same issue and round numbers to send back a survey – I realize they are only “estimating” overwintering losses – and likewise their numbers of summer losses. Our national BIP survey and this one Ramesh and I are doing for PNW is, in reality, a “snapshot” – we recognize and understand that it is not always possible to provide “real” numbers. This data is still very useful…..right now it is the “best” we can hope for with a survey instrument – we are also doing counting and surveying with “real” numbers – for example what Dan & Ellen are doing with the Tech Transfer sampling + our Tier 4 numbers (People need to pay for this survey assistance). Ramesh and students have other studies, some in conjunction with cooperators and others using OSU colonies, that are “real” numbers.
Under comment section you said the questions should be rephrased so it might be” easier/possible” to respond. In particular, you commented that survey “loses credibility when items like minimal hive inspections, apiary colony configuration and apiary site selection are listed as options for mite control practices“and you suggested that persons who feel that way should write have to include them under “other” In fact, that is the option for the paper survey sent to commercial and semi-commercial (your colony numbers would have us classify you as semi-commercial). As indicated, the electronic survey (and the paper copy you submitted) was never intended for commercial or semi-commercial beekeepers.
As for our checklist of items under sanitation – it makes sense to collect data to show what Oregon/Washington backyarders are NOT doing for proper sanitation or what COULD be done and then we see if it will make a difference – they do apparently make a difference for smaller colony numbers and may especially be effective under light mite population pressure (depending upon what we term “effective” or “success”. If basic sanitation means 10% fewer losses (about the same as some studies have shown for use of a screen bottom board for example) that could Be EFFECTVE or SUCCESSFUL by someone’s standards. Science does show that colonies in the sun (apiary site selection) have “reduced mite populations” and there is some evidence that if efforts are made to reduce drifting from one colony to the next, the mite populations of some colonies are within limits that suggest the colonies are holding their own when mite population pressures are lower – so is that “effective” or Success”?
The “kicker” is that viruses change the whole situation since it is mites + viruses that kill colonies so quickly. Also one colony generating mites in an apiary (I label them “mite bombs” in my talks) do share their mites with others in same apiary as they get weaker and under more stress. So does good sanitation make any sense? Well I don’t know – but I thought the survey could help provide some real answers – sorry you feel that by including such survey questions that the entire survey losses credibility.
Our survey – is designed to get some basic information. I am able (with 250 backyard respondents this spring) to run correlations between loss and these various options. If apiary site selection is ineffective the data should help to define this (correlation is not causation). I do appreciate your effort to be included.

2015 Survey Q & A – Hive Survival by its Origination

Q- One of the hives I had going into fall I did not expect to make it. It was a late structural – a way to account for this would be good.

A – Thank you for filling our a survey. Appreciate the input. You had comment regarding why your late colony start from a cut out survived. Just as we often can’t diagnose reason for a colony loss we may not be able to explain why another survives against what are surely great odds of it not having much chance to survive. It was a mild winter and that helped – our loss rate right now is running about 50% lower than last winter (i.e. double the survival rate of last winter). It was lucky I guess. Other than that I really don’t know. Sorry I can’t offer a better guess.

In our survey this year we do have a section on origination of colonies that are overwintered. You would be able to indicate it there and to record the survival

2015 Survey Q & A – Treating & Feeding

Q – I have had better luck when I do not treat my Bees, and I remember to feed them when it raining in the spring.

A – Untreated bees generally will not survive more than a couple of seasons. So non-treatment is just luck. For best results it is better to treat – but of course there is a large variation in treatment effectiveness – and no matter what treatment is used there are some negative effects (the more drastic the treatment and the more treatments the negative effects are likely to escalate. Feeding too can have negative effects but proper treatment (during rainy spring for example) can make a big difference in survival and in strength of colonies.

2015 Survey Q & A – Local vs. Foreign & Organic vs. Non Organic

Q – Please continue to differentiate local vs foreign, organic vs non organic practices.

A – Thank you for your comment. I am at a loss as to what is meant by local vs foreign practices. Beekeeping is all individual and all local – foreign beekeepers do essentially the same things we do here in US, sure the hive may have slightly difference dimensions, time of year varies and they might use miticides with different commercial names but the applied biology basics of beekeeping are the same here in US as in foreign regions. There are no “special” things a Portland or Medford or Oregon beekeeper might do that is different than what one might do in Delaware or a foreign country. There are so many possible variations that any beekeeper might elect to do anywhere they keep bees – that is the fascination (and for some frustration) of beekeeping.
Organic beekeeping has no accepted definition. What you might accept as organic might be very, very different than what another might accept. Problem comes in when we attempt to define organic in case of bees – is honey a plant product (which have specific organic licensing requirements) or an animal product (very different licensing practices) and on top of that honey bees may “trespass” miles away from their home. Additionally what one country might label as organic needs to be “accepted” by USDA under general trade agreements and foreign beekeepers have vastly differing rules on labelling their product as organic [I could speak specifically to “coffee” honey for example]. Relative to miticides, any chemical can be used and we can still call the honey organic if you apply the general rules of organic – which do permit use of even Apivar (the synthetic miticide) if the colony is in “imminent danger of dying” – and Varroa mites if unchecked can be expected to kill a colony in 2-3 years of establishment (that fits my definition of imminent). Certainly acids (MAQs, HopGuard, Oxalic (soon to be legal in OR) or essential oils (Apiguard and ApiLife Var) for varroa mite control are permitted and still call the care of the bee colony “organic”.
If this all sounds a little murky – then you get the picture. Natural, local, {specific] floral source, raw, organic – all words commonly seen on honey labels – all are only as good as the person who is using such a label for their [or their purchased] honey. Sorry to disappoint with this response some who may view local vs foreign, organic vs non-organic differently. You are all entitled to an opinion.

2015 Survey Q & A – Tracking a “colony” in your apairy over the year

Q – So hard to track what a “colony” is as I split and reunite several colonies per year, or unite overwintered colonies or divisions with swarms, etc.

A – Thank you for doing a survey. YES it is hard to track one colony as we do many manipulations – sometimes they do not fit into neat checked boxes. I am seeking in the survey how many boxes did you have going into winter (OCT) and how many boxes did you have this spring before dividing, adding swarms etc. It is a snapshot in time.
Sorry the survey did not really help you define what is going on into the easy to check boxes. We seek to make the survey more effective each year. Appreciate your comments.

2015 Survey Q & A – Vaporizing or dribbling oxalic acid?

Q-For future surveys ask when people are using oxalic acid are they vaporizing or dribbling. What were their results? Another semi-related question. Were their any ill effects on the beekeeper with either dribble or vaporizing?

A-Thanks for sending a  survey. Yes as Oxalic Acid is now going to be registered with both drizzle and fumigation techniques we will want to check how individuals are using it and key that to success overwintering. I am not able to include the medical consequences question you suggested – I am not a MD so I don’t know what I would do with the information. Thanks for suggesting however.

2015 Survey Q & A – Prep worksheet for Future Survey?

Q – If it is possible to have check sheet of info that beekeepers should gather, it would be easier than teasing things like months of mite counts out of log sheets…

A – There are so many different styles to keeping bees that a checklist might not be of use but certainly more information of when to do what might help. Will see what can be developed.