TWO similar comments –
A- I am not a member of Willamette Valley Bee Association. I accidentally checked it and it wouldn’t uncheck. Using my phone, which is not ideal. Only affiliated with PUB and OSU Master Beeks program.”
B-“Some questions (radio button?) won’t let you remove a response if you’ve incorrectly marked it. It will move through the options, but won’t clear.
RESPONSE – This was an unforeseen bug that goes with the club expansion. In previous years we asked a participants club affiliation and many were troubled that they could only select one. Until we have the manpower to do behind the scenes web development, we are stuck with the options and minor programming that the Google form will allow us to do. Noting the error in the comments like you have done is sufficient for us to correct the error on our end so that it does not affect the reports. Thank you for bringing it to our attention and submitting your correction.
Some of the early questions did not have the year changed. They use 2014 / 2015. I treated them as if they said 2015/2016. The question about monitoring mite counts did not allow me the option of saying I frequently monitor my white boards. It is the only thing I did this year because all four of my colonies were new. I do not intend to treat. I am following Michael Bush’s methods. The distance between the hives in a single apiary would be interesting. Mine are spread out. Special things one does would also be interesting. I add fresh mint and thyme to the fondant and a pinch of salt; sometimes brewer’s yeast. I also grow a patch of thyme in front of each hive. I have also turned my land into forage. Borage and Cleome (Spider Wort) was very popular. Only bumblebees like phacelia. Borage bloomed until late November and started up with a huge self-seeded crop in February. It’s like the Garden of Eden out there. I talk to my bees! (tsk… tsk..)
RESPONSE: Data should be 2015-2016 period. We did miss some date changes in our update. We asked what months you monitored using sticky boards – as you have done; use Comments at end for any additional items you think you need to clarify. Treatment decisions are your personal decisions – some beekeepers prefer to not treat. The reason for monitoring (using the white boards) is to confirm mite numbers. New colonies can die from heavy mite numbers as well as established colonies. It is excellent, when conditions permit, to space between colonies and to give all colonies a distinctive “look” to reduce drifting of adult bees (and spread of mites). Beekeepers will add various additional materials to their feeding of bees – for virtually all of them we do not know how effective they may be, nor if they might be harmful. A bit of fresh mint or thyme or pinch of salt should not be harmful. Honey bees, along with bumble bees, like the phacelia – borage (which blooms a long time is good bee forage and we know they need more forage.
A few questions required typed answers (such as how much honey you extracted) even if you said you took no products.
RESPONSE: we attempt to reduce such questions. Thanks for catching this duplication.
In Section 1c you ask “How many active colonies do you currently own?” Since I lost both my colonies during the winter and have not purchased new ones this spring my answer would be “0”… only it won’t let me enter 0. For three years (2012, 2013 and 2015) I have started with 2 nucs each spring and so far none has made it through the winter (no dead bees anywhere). The first two years I chose to do very little and just let the bees be. I took a class and read a little but did not go to club meetings or had a mentor. Last year I realized that I had to do more so I started networking but developed a severe allergy in July that prevented me from working with the bees and take measures for winter. This year I will not purchase nucs but will try to either catch a swarm or bait them with a swarm trap and also make an effort to learn more (read more, find a mentor, classes etc)
RESPONSE: Thank you for your comments. This was meant to be another way to check the active colony count but has since been edited to allow for 0,0 entries for just this reason. It was fixed about a week into the collection period. Nucs are tough to get through the season – I see you have not had much success so far. However given that we know colonies get heavy mite numbers, and you have elected not to control mites, that is not surprising. It is a perfectly acceptable method of keeping bees- starting anew each season with a new nuc is a practice that several elect to practice. Trust you are able to bait a swarm or hear about one to capture as a way to put onto the drawn comb you have form previous nuc colonies.