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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Yes, it seems that the e-mails are going out right now. I completed the survey through the website and just check my email before clicking over here and noticed there was a survey in there. I just disregarded the email since I had already filled the survey out through the BIP website.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,108

    Reminder Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Reminder, today is the last day to take the survey!

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,005

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Preliminary results are out and look like there really were heavy losses this year.

    winter-loss-survey-2012-2013/


    Rusty

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,108

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Thanks Rusty, I was just about to post the results.

    The Bee Informed Partnership (http://beeinformed.org), in collaboration with the Apiary
    Inspectors of America (AIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),
    is releasing preliminary results for the seventh annual national survey of honey bee
    colony losses. For the 2012/2013 winter season, a total of 6,287 U.S. beekeepers
    provided validated responses. Collectively, responding beekeepers managed 599,610
    colonies in October 2012, representing about 22.9%1 of the country’s estimated 2.62
    million colonies.

    Preliminary survey results indicate that 31.1% of managed honey bee colonies in the
    United States were lost during the 2012/2013 winter. This represents an increase in loss
    of 9.2 points or 42% over the previous 2011/2012 winter’s total losses that were
    estimated at 21.9% (Figure 1). This level of loss is on par with the 6 year average total
    loss of 30.5%2.

    On average, U.S. beekeepers lost 45.1% of the colonies in their operation during the
    winter of 2012/2013. This is a 19.8 point or 78.2% increase in the average operational
    loss compared to the previous winter (2011/2012), which was estimated at 25.3%. The
    difference between average loss and total loss is explained by the respondent pool: while
    a majority of the respondents (95%) were backyard beekeepers, they managed a small
    fraction of the colonies represented in the survey (6%). For this reason total loss (which
    is more heavily influenced by commercial beekeeper losses) is more representative of
    national losses.

    Survey participants indicated that they considered a loss rate of 15% as “acceptable,” but
    70% of them suffered losses greater than this.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    When does the full report get released?

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lucasville, OH, USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    I'm relatively new to beekeeping, so I'm curious as to why only 5% of the responders were commercial beekeepers. Is this due to commercial beekeepers not bothering to respond, or is it that 95% of beekeepers are backyard beekeepers?

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    More like the latter.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,466

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Tango Yankee View Post
    I'm relatively new to beekeeping, so I'm curious as to why only 5% of the responders were commercial beekeepers. Is this due to commercial beekeepers not bothering to respond, or is it that 95% of beekeepers are backyard beekeepers?
    Perhaps backyard beekeepers are happy to be asked and commercial beekeeper are tired of being asked and are busy working at keeping their business afloat. And having already answered USDA production surveys have better things to do.
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,108

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Come on Mark, if some newbee gave you a BS answer like that, you'd tear them up.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,466

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Call it what you wish. Why do you think so few commercial beekeepers participated? And don't give me a bull **** answer.
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  11. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,861

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Perhaps backyard beekeepers are happy to be asked and commercial beekeeper are tired of being asked and are busy working at keeping their business afloat. And having already answered USDA production surveys have better things to do.
    I do fill out lots of surveys myself but I plead ignorance on this one. This has never been presented to me as a formal request as the NASS surveys are and the 95% non-response number apparently suggests Mark and I are not alone on this. I would be glad to do so if asked. Frankly the whole issue of losses Is a bit ill defined in my mind as among other things the quality of surviving hives isnt factored in. I probably took around 10% losses through the summer and another 5% to 7% through the winter. With the overall quality this of bees this spring we could easily have made a 25 to 30% increase but stopped when all of our equipment was full.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,466

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Me too Jim. I didn't do the math this Spring when I got to SC in March, so I don't know what my so called Winterloss was. And, had I filled out the survey, was there a column for "Number of colonies which starved due to beekeeper error."? I killed a bunch of colonies by splitting in anticipation of a nectar flow which didn't come. And then I filled almost every empty pallet and 60 out of 80 nuc boxes, returning North w/ more colonies than I went South w/ last Fall. I now have 100 plus more colonies than I did last Fall. So, my increase far outweighs my loss, doesn't it? How does the survey account for that?
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    How does the survey account for that?
    All that kind of info is interesting, but just straight losses is interesting, regardless of what the beekeeper did afterwards to make them up.

    To me, the survey is structured too simplistically and does not give all the answers we want. But, there may be a reason for that. If the questioning was more detailed, say, as to how the strength of the survivors was etc, it would be delving more into peoples opinions, rather than just is hive alive, yes, no? The more it would be relying on opinions the less useful the results would be.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,861

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Well from a management standpoint I consider a "loss" as a lost cause. The majority of our "losses" are hives which I prefer to unite with another hive as opposed to nursing it along so that I don't have to worry about finding a box full of wax moth if it dosent get checked again for a month. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that most hobbyists, who think of their hives more as pets than production units, prefer to nurse that hive along perhaps requeening it at some point and never really consider that hive a loss though it may not have made any surplus honey. To me that hive is a loss. The only thing that matters to me, in the final analysis, is that our equipment is full each spring with strong hives capable of making a honey crop on June 1.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    More like the latter.
    At least in our area this is true. ~10% of beekeepers run ~90% of the hives.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Come on Mark, if some newbee gave you a BS answer like that, you'd tear them up.
    Little harsh? Mark is a gentleman and I don't think he would tear any newbee up. Maybe if the guy was intentionally an obnoxious twert, otherwise, no.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,466

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    All that kind of info is interesting, but just straight losses is interesting, regardless of what the beekeeper did afterwards to make them up.

    To me, the survey is structured too simplistically and does not give all the answers we want. But, there may be a reason for that. If the questioning was more detailed, say, as to how the strength of the survivors was etc, it would be delving more into peoples opinions, rather than just is hive alive, yes, no? The more it would be relying on opinions the less useful the results would be.
    You know as well as I that the only beekeepers that really know at any one moment in time how many live colonies they have are small scale/back yard beekeepers. So, if I fill out the survey and say I have 534 colonies I'm lying. But that is probably accounted for.
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  18. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,466

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Little harsh? Mark is a gentleman and I don't think he would tear any newbee up. Maybe if the guy was intentionally an obnoxious twert, otherwise, no.
    Solomon has experienced my impatience. That's probably where that friendly jab came from.

    An elderly gentleman at that. I was standing at the OfficeMax Computer Repair counter, alone, yesterday when I heard a clerk announce that there was an elderly gentleman who needed help. I guess it's time to shave the beard and get some Grecian Formula. Ha,ha.
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  19. #59
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lucasville, OH, USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Perhaps backyard beekeepers are happy to be asked and commercial beekeeper are tired of being asked and are busy working at keeping their business afloat. And having already answered USDA production surveys have better things to do.
    Perhaps I worded my question badly. "Bothered" can have a negative connotation to some ears. "Opted not to respond" may have been a better choice.

    Everyone gets surveys for different things. Surveys about their visit to the doctor, the store, the movies, etcetera. We either take them or ignore them depending on our mood, available time, attitude towards surveys, whether or not we think our responses will be beneficial in some way, and in some cases whether or not we have an ax to grind.

    With this in mind, I'm sure that "backyard" beekeepers are happy to respond, especially if, like myself, part of the reason for getting into beekeeping in the first place was reading about the problems bees are having and wanting help in some way especially if they were already interested in bees to begin with. We likely aren't going to be receiving survey requests from the USDA, though I'm sure that individual states will have their own surveys.

    On the other hand, not being a commercial beekeeper and a being new "backyard" beekeeper at that, I have no idea what various surveys commercial beekeepers may be asked or required to complete and submit or whether or not those surveys mirror or overlap the one in question. If commercial beekeepers have already answered a bunch of surveys I can see how yet another one might be frustrating or annoying if they don't see any added value in it. Or, as others have indicated, they may not have a good idea as to how many they lost over the winter due to the sheer number of hives they do have (though it seems to me that at some point at the end of winter you'd be checking for dead colonies so you can reuse the equipment, etcetera.)

    I suppose another related question would be "At what point does a beekeeper become a "commercial" beekeeper? Does a hobbiest cross the line into commercial the first time they sell their excess honey at a farmer's market? Start raising queen bees to sell to others in their club? What's the definition of "commercial"? I suppose there may be some who do not identify themselves as commercial in the survey because they don't consider themselves so but actually are under some definitions.

    In the end, though, I was surprised by the ratio of non-commercial to commercial beekeepers who responded, which prompted my query.

    Regards,
    Tom

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: Bee Informed National Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Tango Yankee View Post
    In the end, though, I was surprised by the ratio of non-commercial to commercial beekeepers who responded, which prompted my query.

    Regards,
    Tom
    Small beekeepers hugely outnumber large beekeepers.

    You may want as many commercial beekeepers to answer the survey as small beekeepers, but it cannot happen.

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