Tag Archives: confusion

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 – Forced to Choose

Q -Some of the items may have multiple answers but the form allows only one.

A– Yes we realized too late that asking for how individuals get the majority of their information (i.e. allowing only a single answer) and only one response for membership affiliation was too restricting. Next year we will open up answer possibilities.

2015 Survey Q & A – No Active Hives (hiveyear calculation)

Q -The first page I did not have an option to put that I had 0 active hives. All mine died this year.

A – Thank you for sending a survey. We recognized too late that on this question zero was not accepted for a response yet the idea is to calculate the “hive years” for a beekeepers experience. We will be sure to find a new method for this and get it changed for next season. Thank you for sending the comment.

2015 Survey Q & A – Can’t pick Just One

Q – On the first page or two, you asked questions that should have been check boxes rather than radio buttons. You asked for the MAJOR source of information when getting started. I couldn’t really pick ONE, but I had to randomly pick one of the most important (books, magazines, etc). But equally important were internet web sites, club meetings, and mentors. There was a second question that suffered from this same problem, either right before or right after the above question, but I can’t remember now what it was.

A – You are correct on these two questions at the beginning of the survey. We will likely want to adjust this to multiple choice in the next version. Thank you for taking time to send us comments.

2015 Survey Q & A – Powder Sugar Dusting

Q – I dusted powder sugar to try and reduce the mites….the questions asked don’t make it clear what type of method this is

A – You had comment that our question does not make it clear what type of method powder sugar dusting is (nor does it reveal if such a method works or not). There simply is no space to explain some of these things we do to our bees – and frankly there is no ONE METHOD of sugar dusting and no clear evidence that it works better than doing nothing (i.e. not dusting). This is a survey instrument (and like all surveys it has some problems getting at the information we desire. I am after only some expression of how many people do this (no matter how they do it). If on analysis a good number of beekeepers are doing this and they experience lower losses, it will be something to further investigate (and better define) in the near future.

2015 Survey Q & A – Define the 2014/15 Season

Q-“Did you (or your hive) requeen in any form during the 2014/15 season? *” – this is confusing to me as my hive swarmed 4/19/15 and so they requeened but is that the 14/15 season or the 15/16 season? I filled out form as the 15/16 season.

A – With April 1st being the end of the previous years season, a swarm in April 2015 would have been outside our window asking for information on overwintering losses of 2014-15 winter but I appreciate your confusion as to how it fit with our survey questions. Thanks for clarification with your comment.