PS I certainly didn't expect my query to generate so much activity!
PS I certainly didn't expect my query to generate so much activity!
I am betting that anyone that studies the science of polling will tell you that the results of voluntary polls such as this tend to get skewed because the answerers dont tend to be a representative cross section but may well be heavily weighted towards the extremes on either end of the spectrum, each wanting to make sure their case is being made and hopefully with honest data. The marketplace, though, never lies and this late winter and spring was most certainly a sellers market for bees. Clearly there were some higher than expected bee shortages.
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney
It is a reasonable question and your reaction does indicate that it is a common one and apparently a touchy one, too. Perhaps the Beekeeping Glossary should have an entry for it: "Commercial Beekeeper: You become a commercial beekeeper when you decide that's what you are" or something like that. Or not. Perhaps just "Don't Ask."
And with that, I will not pursue it further.
Last edited by Tango Yankee; 06-11-2013 at 08:34 PM.
We had a whole Thread arguing about what defines the term ommercial beekeeper and another arguing about whether there were any or very many TreatmentFree Commercial Beekeepers. You may have heard the old saying that if you ask 10 beekeepers a question you will get 11 answers? Well, to answer your question, in my opinion, it takes more than simply doing business w/ your bees. The majority of your income should be made thru beekeeping. It's what you do for a living. The American Beekeepers Federation considers 300 colonies as the number which puts one in the Commercial Category for dues paying members. Many people will say 500 plus. Someone w/ 20 hives, selling honey, selling nucs, and selling queens is not, imo, a commercial beekeeper. Doesn't mean you aren't a beekeeper.
Thanks for the link, Barry. Perhaps it should be in the glossary next to "Commercial Beekeeper". :-)
In further hindsight, perhaps my question would have been more accurate if I'd asked what the group that put out the survey considered "commercial" for their purposes.
Mark, I don't have any dogs in that fight, just curiosity. Part of my thoughts on it had to do with the idea of being a professional--once you start getting paid for something you go from being amateur to professional kind of thing, but I recognized that definition wasn't a good fit. In the end it's probably more about semantics and opinion than anything else after a somewhat vague point when so many different factors can be cited and weighted differently depending upon the point of view.
Tom, We are okay. No problems. In beekeeping there are terms which we use that mean things to those whose avocation is beekeeping. I hope I don't seem to be talking down to you. I don't mean to. We have a certain understanding of what the terms "hobbyist" (or small scale), "sideliner", and "commercial" beekeeper means. There probably is a "Dictionary of Beekeeping Terms" out there somewhere, maybe on beesource itself, but mostly it's an understanding. Some people may say to people outside of beekeeping circles that they are a Professional Beekeeper, but I haven't heard that term amongst beekeepers. Welcome to beesource. I hope you stick around.
No worries, Mark. Every profession, career field, hobby, etcetera has its own language. I'm still learning Beekeeper. I like the bees, and so does my wife. We've found that beekeepers are a friendly lot. I'll be here a while.
I'm disappointed that it is the middle of July and there is still no final report from Bee Informed. The only thing they seem to have posted are the preliminary results from back in early May. It may be silly of me, but I was kinda hoping to use the results to help point me in the right direction for my winter planning.
You were looking to a National Survey to decide how to manage your bees? Why? How would that work?
Thanks to last year's survey, I 'll be using upper entrances for winter. Thanks to last year's survey, I didn't bother experimenting with small cell or FGMO. Thanks to last year's survey, I changed my approach to SHB. Saved some time and resources.
edited to add: I think the biggest impact for me was seeing how little difference y'get from using or not using options that have set off absolute firestorms on these boards between the various factions. Everything seems to work or not work about equally. That was very freeing for me. It allowed me to just go with my own gut on most stuff, knowing that my choices wouldn't be any better or any worse than anybody elses. LOLOL
Last edited by Rusty Hills Farm; 07-13-2013 at 11:29 AM.
I found the surveys very interesting too. You do have to bear in mind that even though commercial beekeepers have the largest representation in the survey, the commercial guys who actually responded are a very small minority of the commercial industry.
But that said, I took great reassurance from the fact that of the respondents, those who treated their hives didn't have significantly different survival rates from those who did no treatment. This was a welcome bit of information to me, because you hear, over and over on forums like this, that if you don't treat, you are an evil bee abuser who doesn't care if his bees live or die.
I think it's human nature to want to do something when things go wrong, and sometimes, we may be doing things that actually make matters worse than they would be if we did nothing. There's certainly plenty of examples of such mistakes from the past... Theodoric of York comes to mind in that regard.
Anyway, any statistician would tell you that the survey is fundamentally flawed. Still, some data is better than no data, and there is data to be mined from the survey results.
for those who took the survey, you may recall that a lot of management option questions offered the response of 'i'd rather not say'.
answers like this or not wanting to be surveyed at all for a similar reason is why the results have to be viewed as biased or at least not necessarily representative of the universe of managed bees.
still, the trends that are borne out are somewhat helpful.
journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives
Wondering when they are ever going to get past the preliminary results to the final results?
Mark, they do get very good info on management practices when they get around to publishing it all. That's where I get the info I quote all the time about how different appliances and methods don't work.
Looking forward to seeing the final draft. Will it be published on beesource.com when it comes available?
I will link to it when I find it. You can see previous years' data already if you're interested.
Here it is Solomon, long time coming but I suspect they have better data this time.