Early in survey no place to explain that I was valuably helped by taking a bee class.
RESPONSE – You added into comments at end and that was good. We do have class by an association and by bee supply or garden store as possible answers. When not sure we can get this information in comments as you have done. Thanks for sharing.
Attending master bee keeper through OSU and believe my losses should greatly improve with better knowledge.
REASON: We all learn from mistakes. The OMB program has some great mentors and a generous amount to share about bees. Welcome and good luck.
In the Education section, the other source of great information is the Warre forum hosted by David Heaf
RESPONSE – Thanks for sharing. We have little local expertise on Warre hives and because the management and hive are so different from movable frame Langstroth we need a good source of information. Here is a link as suggested http://www.bee-friendly.co.uk/
I am curious about the differences in commercial beekeepers losses vs. hobbyists and urban vs. rural beekeeping losses. It seems that commercial beekeepers lose a lot. This year my very first loss was one hive, which I am proud of since I hear about veteran beekeepers of far many years experience whom loose half of their apiary to winter losses. I attribute my success to attending bee association meetings regularly and education through WA State Beekeeping program, reading sources such as books, internet and magazine subscriptions. Also the invaluable networking with other beekeepers and/or conferences.
RESPONSE – Our survey has found the opposite – commercial beekeepers have only about one-half the overwintering losses of backyard beekeepers – and this has been consistent in the PNW surveys now for a number of years. They lose heavier during the season than the backyarder beekeepers – they are requiring/expecting more from their bees and “using” them multiple times a year (for pollination primarily but also for honey production – they need more productivity to cover their time and costs.) What is “unique” about our current losses is that an individual may do the same management; same location, etc but have heavy losses one year and lighter another. Much we still don’t understand about bees – the survey effort is designed to enable you to look over your beekeeper neighbor’s fence. Networking and well-designed training materials and programs such as OR and WA Master Beekeeper programs are helping but are no substitute for the actual doing – to learn and benefit form understanding what bees are doing. I appreciate your sharing
The survey doesn’t give an option for “I would like to…” in the question about what things have helped us. As it’s only April and we’re just starting beekeeping this year, we’re still trying to find beekeeping mentors, classes that actually fit our schedules, and other local resources, so would love to be able to indicate interest in those things 😉
RESPONSE: The last open section is exactly for your adding something like “I would like to….” Please consider adding that information. Most short courses/classes on bees are in Feb and March – there will be very few for rest of the year….and those that will be offered are often for more advance beekeepers (such as courses on queen rearing, our Journey courses in the OR Master Beekeeper program). Courses are offered early in the year so beekeepers can start this year. What is still available however are the monthly meetings of the bee associations. Many have an open Q&A session so you can ask an expert – some have a meeting before the meeting to get questions answered. Check out the OR State beekeepers site orsba.org for the nearest local group to where you live.
Q-Follow-up with suggested programs and classes in the area.
A – Thank you for suggestion under comments on your survey. We have many introductory courses in area – most have already taken place – but we have very little for intermediate levels – I am doing a queen rearing class end of Maya and bee Day April 25 at George Hansen’s in Colton is an event of value to those past the beginner phase. Portland Metro will have a mite intermediate workshop with me and Matt Hansen – date not yet set (likely in June or July). I agree that we need more courses!