Category Archives: 2015 Survey

2015 Survey Q & A – Apiary Practices & Deadouts

Q-I cycled out drone comb through August. Screen bottom board colonies got 4 or 5 powdered sugar treatments. Solid bottom boards got ApiGuard. I gave 3 Apiguard treatments in a row. Some of each died and some of each survived. All dead-outs happened Oct, Nov, and Dec of 2014. One looked like it would make the grade for almonds 10/19 but on 11/25 it was a dead out?!

A- Thank you for sending a survey. The details on use of different control materials depending upon configuration of the hive (sold or screen bottom boards) is useful and we will seek to capture it in our data analysis.

2015 Survey Q & A – Question for Treatment Results

Q- You may want to design a question that addresses treatments that worked, but worked too late. I treated with OA, after I was down to 1 hive, having watched 4 others die out even before winter. I didn’t recognize how bad the mite problem was until too late, and then finally got a vaporizer to treat, but only had one hive remaining. That one became very strong going into the winter, even though it was late fall.

A-Thank you for completing a survey. You had a comment on our adding a question on treatments that worked but were used too late.  That is a good idea. Unfortunately we have a constraint on the number of questions we feel we can cover and yet get data. We do have the question on what was used and when it was used –that question will get to your comment – partially at least. As we look at our full data base we will certainly take your comment under consideration – for another year. Appreciate your interest and comment.

2015 Survey Q & A – Ambiguous Questions

Q- First, thank you for conducting the survey. 2nd, please take a look at your questions. They can be ambiguous, maybe some clarification of the question might be helpful. For example, “what measures did you do for sanitation”… Well we didn’t intentionally disrupt the brood cycle, but the hive swarmed. So the brood cycle was disrupted, but we didn’t “do” that. Many of the questions were left up to interpretation.

Another example, During the peak of 2014 I had _ colonies. What was the peak of 2014? The peak production point of the hives? The point at which I had the most number of hives? (the answer could be different based on interpretation.

A-Thank you for taking time to complete a survey.  Also appreciate your comments on our question phrasing. We did NOT intentionally make them ambiguous but you are certainly correct that the wording sometimes is not as clear and concise as it needs to be to help us develop useful data.

We assume on sanitation that the bees know best – the bees swarmed –  so the question was intentionally designed to determine what you the beekeeper did – did you intentionally disrupt the brood cycle?

In my experience many beekeepers are pretty sloppy with basic sanitation – and I think our survey will demonstrate that. Should that perhaps be a focus of our educational effort ?— in point of fact I am part of a committee writing a fact sheet on bee bio-security (the “new” term for sanitation).
The peak question …..During the peak of 2014 I had _ colonies…. was perfectly clear to us but our placement of the the word peak in the sentence did not adequately convey what was our intended purpose with the question. As you point out did we mean peak production or peak of numbers??? Both are valid interpretations – we could have phrased it more simply – What was peak colony number in 2014? _____.
Next time!!!
Thank you for helping make our NEXT version more clearly worded with your comments on this version. That was very useful feedback. Appreciate it.

2015 Survey Q & A – Choice Restrictions

Q-I would have liked to choose multiple answers about where I learn how to beekeep.

A-Thank you for filling our a survey.  You asked about our survey question of allowing only one response for where you learned how to beekeep. Our PUB committee debated the wording of this survey question and elected to ask about the major source of information so we used the wording majority of information. I recognize it would not allow multiple answers and that may have been the better option in the survey instrument. Appreciate your responses – we will certainly discuss making a change on this question in a future survey.

2015 Survey Q & A – Source and Species

Q-Would like to know
1-Source of Nucs & Packages
2-Source of queens
3-Species of queens

A-Thank you for filling our a survey. You asked under comments about
1. sources of nuc & packages – several of the local associations have
nucs purchase plans including TVBA, Portland Metro and WVBA.
Bridgetown Bees in Portland has been taking orders for nucs as has
Ruhl Bee Supply in Gladstone.. Many of the nucs come from Foothills
Honey Co in Colton, OR.
2. source of queens – there are probably 200 queen suppliers in the
US. Ads for these may be found in current issues of American Bee
Journal and Bee Culture Magazine and on the internet. A source of
local OR queens is Old SOL Apiaries in Rogue River OR
3. Species of queens – we have a single honey bee species that we
beekeep but I think you are asking about bee races. Queens of Russian
stock, hygienic bees, Italian, Carniolan and Caucasian bees are all
readily available – see the ads or sources mentioned in #2 above.

2015 Survey Q & A – Insecticides & Hanging Hives

Q-I have plains that spray the alfalfa fields after say 7 am is that to late in the day for them to spray? If spraying is limited to times and places who do I contact concerning the use of insecticides? Also I would like to try hanging hives? Can you help?

A-Thank you for sending us your information on overwintering success. Under comments you asked about spraying and hanging hives from trees.Sprays applied in the morning can cause bee losses if the area sprayed has flowering plans (weeds or the target crop being sprayed are in flower or the hives are sprayed directly. The longer the interval from spray application to when bees will be flying the potential for damage is reduced. Unfortunately there is no agency to visit to seek relief. Consult our OSU publication 591  “How to Protect Honey Bees from Pesticides -free download at:

Hanging bee hives is possible some areas hives are commonly hung to avoid predation from ants or other animals .. but managing such colonies is often a challenge. Siting hives should be done at our convenience as bees will do well just about anywhere.

2015 Survey Q & A – Hive Placement

Q-(The survey) seemed very thorough. Maybe you’d want to know if hives were in sun or shade, sheltered, etc.

A-Thank you for sending us your information on overwintering success. You commented on the last page that perhaps we would like information on “if hives were in sun or shade, sheltered, etc.” We did not include that question but we do know hives in sunny, well air-drained locations with good hive ventilation have an advantage in combating varroa mites and are generally healthier than those in heavy shaded sites. We have elected to focus on other factors with our survey although the check box on site selection does attempt to get at obtaining this information.

2015 Survey Q & A – Hive Placement & Pollination

Q – Do you move your hives during the Summer to take advantage of honey flows? Do you pollinate multiple crops? (almonds, pears, apples, cranberries, carrots, sunflower)
A-Thank you for sending us your information on overwintering success. You asked about pollination when you sent the data. Small scale beekeepers generally do not rent their colonies for pollination of agricultural crops but our larger scale do rent bee colonies to an average of 5 crops. All the crops you asked about do require and benefit from honey bee pollination. We do a separate pollination economics survey at OSU  – our report from last year was published in the June 2014 BEE LINE newsletter of the Oregon State Beekeepers. You can see this report by accessing the website and checking on the Bee Line archive information.