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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,108

    Default Bee Informed National Survey

    Please go to http://beeinformed.org/participate/ and take the survey. It can be pretty involved depending on your specific case, but do what you can.

    I just took the survey and am looking at some of the results from last year. Colony losses between different management styles (no non-bee derived products, natural only, prefer natural, use anything, other) were not statistically significant. In fact, the the range was between 31-36% with the first option rating at about 33%.

    The difference between migratory and non-migratory was 30%, 34% respectively.

    http://beeinformed.org/results/

    We see a lot of numbers in a lot of different directions, but the averages are not statistically different. I mentioned previously the differences between treating and non treating for varroa specifically were less than ten percent, I'm looking at the graph now and losses with no varroa treatment were 37% and treated were 29%, so only 8% difference. It's clear from the numbers that the ones who treated are more often commercial beekeepers, averaging 150 colonies, and the ones who didn't treat were less so, averaging 20 colonies.

    According to the stats, powdered sugar was NOT helpful, actually increasing losses compared to whatever else was done.

    Coumaphos only ~2.5% better than doing nothing.

    Formic Acid, 6% better than nothing.

    Fluvalinate, 2% better than nothing.

    Miscellaneous herbal products, 3% better than nothing.

    Small Cell, 1% worse than nothing on average, but varying widely. Using small cell in all colonies 2% better than in no colonies, but still widely varying. Shows a small bad correlation for going half way as it were.

    SSB 2% better than nothing.

    Here's an interesting one, drone removal, using it 1% worse than not using it. Dodged a bullet there.

    Terramycin and Tylosin, 2% better than nothing.

    Fumagillin and Nosevet, wash.


    Again, I'm not seeing anything all the useful in treating to begin with. Most of these numbers say that the treatment does not do anything statistically significant. The best looking product is Formic Acid, but it is only correlated with increased survival by 6%. It's hard for me to see that a 6% increase justifies the cost and time it takes to treat. One thing treating does do is make for more consistent results.

    On the other hand, many of us have experienced the 'going cold turkey' paradigm, both personally and vicariously. It must be noted that there is a big difference between going cold turkey and being cold turkey. So it may be that these numbers are more due to avoided losses from the switching process than differences in management. It's kind of like a tax on not changing.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Take the survey, get your information in there for this year's results. This information is helpful for all beekeepers.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Another note, winter losses are those that occur between October 1 and April 1.

    Also sugar seems to be grouped among treatments.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    916

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Sol,

    I haven't looked at the results. But, I'm struggling to understand what you have reported. Treatment improves survival by 8%. But, the most effective treatment only improves survival by 6%? Is the 8% due to more than one type of treatment?

    I'm kind of leery of gleaning specifics from these types of surveys. They can give an overall view of things. But, do you think the data is good enough to make generalizations? I don't. There is no control over who enters data. I find very few beekeepers know what is really going on in their hives and make assumptions without having any data to back it up.

    Tom

  4. #4
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by TWall View Post
    Is the 8% due to more than one type of treatment?
    If I were to venture a guess, that would be it.


    Quote Originally Posted by TWall View Post
    But, do you think the data is good enough to make generalizations?
    Yes. That's what data is for. With a sample size of thousands, it is a good representative (though not exhaustive) result.


    Quote Originally Posted by TWall View Post
    I find very few beekeepers know what is really going on in their hives and make assumptions without having any data to back it up.
    If you had looked at the data, you would have seen that such an action was not required. That's the beauty of science (though this is not a scientific study by any stretch.) You can enter in the inputs and the results and lots of times you can back out intermediate steps which show you something you would not have guessed. In this case, the data shows how effective (or ineffective) individual treatments actually are as well as other variables.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    That's the beauty of science (though this is not a scientific study by any stretch.) You can enter in the inputs and the results and lots of times you can back out intermediate steps which show you something you would not have guessed. In this case, the data shows how effective (or ineffective) individual treatments actually are as well as other variables.
    Well, the beauty of science is that is follows well established protocols. You may then generate repeatable results that can drive your decision making.

    When I was in graduate school I often heard the comment "garbage in, garbage out." You can't take a non-scientific study and make scientific interpolations from it, that just isn't science.

    Tom

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Well, so, then, have you taken the survey yet?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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    626

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    The results were interesting, thank you for sharing Oldtimer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,255

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    I meant that there was a significant difference last year, but it was true in some prior years that the difference was less. I always found it odd that there was so little difference in prior years, because I assumed that most non-treaters were relative novices, and thus more likely to lose their bees, for other reasons.

    So far my problems have been too many bees, and hives that were excessively strong for the backyard, but I'm sure I'll have different results by fall.

    My North Country bees had 100% survival, despite the ferocious winter. But honesty compels me to admit that I only left one hive up there. Still, I was astonished that it survived, because it was a little light in October, and I failed to close down the entrance. No wrapping or insulation, and yet it was brooding up nicely in April.

    I'm taking a half-dozen home-made nucs north to NY in a few days. It's nice not having to buy bees.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Ray there has always been a difference, as one would expect, despite what has been said on Beesource.

    It has been stated on the likes of Beesource that there is no difference, however that has been backed up by spin and carefully cherry picked and massaged data, or not backed up at all.

    The previous survey, which some claimed showed no difference, when read properly showed a 30% difference and because of all the dishonesty I demonstrated that one time. None of the people who had been using data in a misleading manner responded.

    This is all the more remarkable considering the stressors commercial hives are subjected to that treatment free, stationary, intensively cared for, hobby hives, are not subjected to.

    Anyhow congrats on having all but one of your hives survive.

    Where's Bispham? Kinda quiet around here lately.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote - "The survey found that bee mortality was much lower for beekeepers who carefully treated their hives to control the mites".

    I have highlighted carefully, because I think this is one of the main weaknesses in the survey. The treatment free participants, who seem to be the majority, avoid treating if at all possible. It is only when they see a hive badly infested with mites and in obvious distress, that they may reluctantly decide to treat it. However going by the treads I've seen with people talking about this, very often the hive is too far gone & dies out completely not long after treatment is applied.

    Then on the survey, this hive is entered as one that was treated, but died anyway. But what really killed the hive, was not being treated, early enough.

    However, despite these types of discrepancies, IMO the survey is being done as well as it could be, working with a diverse group of people using many methods and having many experience levels, and not being able to fully investigate each case, it melds the whole thing into a workable result.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Quote - "The survey found that bee mortality was much lower for beekeepers who carefully treated their hives to control the mites".
    Would applying Apivar in March when varroa counts are very low be considered carefully ​treated?
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  12. #12
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I'm taking a half-dozen home-made nucs north to NY in a few days. It's nice not having to buy bees.
    How r u going to do that and not have the same experience as last time? When r u coming North?
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,920

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    My losses this past winter were actually a bit higher than the winter before but more significantly hive populations were down. Why? There is no doubt in my mind that it's because I got a bit behind on our treatment plan. My hives got a single thymol treatment which I chose to delay because of a late heat wave. We didn't do any oxalic treating because it got too late on us to do it up north. Late winter/early spring sampling was showing 2 to 3% infestations at a time of year when it should be difficult to find a mite. This spring we changed course and opted for a single treatment of either oxalic or Hopguard at the 3 week window post queen removal in our spring nucing and saw a good mite knockdown. Bees look awesome right now, well see how they look 4 months from now.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    How r u going to do that and not have the same experience as last time? When r u coming North?
    I'm going back to the standard nuc boxes that I moved without problem last year, I'm putting them on the trailer under shade instead of inside the car, and I'm moving nucs that aren't as chock full of bees as the one I lost. I had another nuc that made it fine on the same trip that killed the big nuc-- the one that died had a lot of bees. It was an overwintered nuc that was booming. I've about decided that the problem was too many bees.

    I'm planning to take off in a few days.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  15. #15

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    From another thread. VanEngelsdorp is one of the principal investigators. He says it in no uncertain terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    The survey found that bee mortality was much lower for beekeepers who carefully treated their hives to control the mites.

    VanEngelsdorp said small-scale beekeepers in particular should be more diligent about using anti-mite treatments.


    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/envir...deaths-n105651
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I've about decided that the problem was too many bees.
    I remember the discussion around that & advice at the time from experienced bee movers was do not block them in.

    Too many bees do not kill a hive, blocking them in does. It's one of the biggest arguments I have with some people who buy my bees, some of whom seem hell bent on ensuring all the bees they have just paid for will be dead by the time they get home. Experience is the only way some people can learn. One guy did too, soon as he was out of my site he pulled over & blocked all the hives in, this so he could visit a relation on the way home. I heard via his friend that when he got home there was not a bee left alive. The guy himself though has never fessed up to me about it, but I am sure he will not do it again.

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