I enjoyed the reference to Multivariate Poisson Regression Models - I always feel there is something a bit fishy about statistics.
But, seriously, I think we can do a lot better getting information out to beginning and hobbyist beekeepers and counteracting the absurd - though often spread about - notion that you can just throw bees in a box and then "let them be bees" and have any hope of long term success.
I thought the study kinda indicated that more study was needed to add the real cost of managing hives. It did indicate that the ones with more loss had mechinizims to counter those losses that needed to be studied to find the cost of those mechinisims. It was short term and pointed out that the impact of weather was hard to define as to the impact of the study its self and how that may have skewed the results. The one thing that it did find was sign of disease and mite pressence based on keeping practices but even there reconized the differrence in the resistance of the bees them selves to those things and that all bees were not the same.
I did not see it make any recomendation except on what else to look at with this knowlage as part of the looking.
It seems to be a study that gives something to everyone. Psm1212, thanks for posting it.
It is the absolute truth and need not be explored, that the loss rates through beekeeping methods that have developed in over 30 years, to the detriment of the bees, have led to the fact that the bees are no longer able without good care to survive.
Therefore it must be our, and the task of the legislation, to redirect beekeeping back to more natural ways more in line with bee nature and to convey it and, especially in Central Europe, to create the conditions in agriculture and nature that support the bees' immune system to deal with brood diseases again.
This approach has already been taken by banning three nicotinoids.
Yawn. Another study without context. Take bees that need treating, and put them in the hands of people who aren't good at treating. High losses.
An interesting study would look at the abundance and health of feral bees as a useful surrogate as a canary in a coal mine, in relation to industrial beekeeping and agriculture. Here we will get a a better sense of the resilience of bee population health.
The EU neonics ban is now 5 years old. It appears to be expanding this year to a complete ban, and not just a ban on pollinator-attracting plants. We now need only sort through the data to determine the net effect of the ban and, hence, the tale-of-the-tape on what role neonics has played in the demise of bee colonies. It is done. Neither side of this debate will be able to escape the data. Though we know they will try.
The number of bee colonies in europe is rising every year and in 5 years the before 1990 level can be reached.
This higher number in earlier times was not because of mite or disease but because of politics.
This raising numbers today are caused by the hobbyists or sideliners mostly which want to support pollination and sell local honey.
They want to be more natural beekeepers too as one can see with the different "natural beekeeping" projects.
Itīs time some losses are accepted and to find scarecrows will be no necessity.
The general thrust of this study might also be born out by the American experience.
Back when CCD was a thing, there were several prominant beekeepers claiming high losses and blaming it on various culprits of their choosing. But I can remember some Beesource commercial members stepping up and saying that they, or someone they knew, was keeping bees in the same area without problems.
"Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker
this one from 2014? Quote from the abstract ... "Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies."
So the feral weren't really healthy I'm afraid.
The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland
I think the issue, however, is annual hive loss as a percentage of that count. One would expect the number of annual hive loss (as a percentage of count) to now be lower in Europe after the benefit of the 5 year ban of neonics. If neonics were the problem, wouldn’t you agree that their removal should have a statistical impact on the annual hive loss numbers?
It is logical that the Ferals have higher DWV titers because they are not manipulated. But they seem to be more tolerant than the others.
I have learned from sources who kept bees before Varroa that 10% losses were considered normal. At that time there were mainly production colonies coming from swarming multiplication and artificial swarms for sale.
A big part to have healthy bees in my eyes working with nature.
Today beekeepers have to use a "reserve" strategy or they will loose more and more bees and this is not the non-treated ones alone. If the dark forest honey is harvested, treatments often come too late and the colonies crash.
The commercials then have some nucs as reserve. That to "mite bombs" in late fall.
There are many factors involved in resistance and tolerance, and there are many neonics. All together have never been banned and there are other chemicals that work. The correlations between these chemicals have not been explored much by science.
Lack of diversity of pollen and beekeeping methods are also an issue.
What I see this year is that the dropleg method of spraying is much more in use and that the air spraying is done late in the evening or at night.
Both methods help the bees much.
So itīs getting better for the bees
It would be a good thing to have a control of the mite impact and act accordingly, but it must go in the direction of breeding and multiplying the more resistant and tolerant.
Law should forbid to treat prophylactically, to treat colonies which are under a threshold, and this must be a strategy used on all livestock IMHO.
Most of the studies point otherwise…It is logical that the Ferals have higher DWV titers because they are not manipulated. But they seem to be more tolerant than the others
If that was true, the package bee industry would have never taken hold… like the myth of the immortal bee tree it’s a good story and may have been true in an isolated case or 2…….but doesn’t hold up well in daylight.I have learned from sources who kept bees before Varroa that 10% losses were considered normal. At that time there were mainly production colonies coming from swarming multiplication and artificial swarms for sale.
. “The most importance as far as wintering is concerned, is gradually leading to the practice of only wintering colonies in proper condition; that is, with an abun- dance of young bees, plenty of stores, plenty of pollen reserves and reason- able protection. All other colonies are removed before the winter period begins. This will decrease the winter loss, but it will increase the number of hives that are empty. From our own experience we find thirty-five out of one hundred hives are empty each spring from all causes and must be replaced one way or another."
American Bee Journal, 1947
Written by Gladstone Cale, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Maryland College of Agriculture, Head of Dadant Apiaries
Of note 1947 was the peak year in US colonys
I dissagree 3,00+ apairys, tracking location and mangment across a lot of difrent countrys and enviormentsYawn. Another study without context.
No boogy man snatching hives
Survival was do to how well the stock was manged
Many colonies were combined if the hive system allowed it, as it is done today with weak hives.
Packages were done to sustain the numbers.
But Iīm only speaking about europe, I donīt know about US, in europe they used the native bees then.
Iīm searching for statistics about losses in earlier times in middle europe, you are a fine provider of links, do you per chance know about this if some research was done then?
Itīs all hearsay for now.
sadly "losses" seem to be like fishing stories (even in the past)
ie I had 20 weak nucs and combined them to 10 and then lost 5 over winter.. Did I lose 5, 10, or 15 hives? or did I save 5 from certain death. did I gain not lose as I now have more then I did this time last year.
Europe winter 2015/16
Altogether, we received valid answers from 19,952 beekeepers. These beekeepers collectively wintered 421,238 colonies, and reported 18,587 colonies with unsolvable queen problems and 32,048 dead colonies after winter. This gives an overall loss rate of 12.0% (95% confidence interval 11.8–12.2%) during winter 2015/16, with marked differences among countries. Beekeepers in the present study assessed 7.6% (95% CI 7.4–7.8%) of their colonies as dead or empty, and 4.4% (95% CI 4.3–4.5%) as having unsolvable queen problems after winter.
however they go on to say
For the same winter, a pan-European surveillance program, implemented in 17 countries, ascertained winter mortality based on field inspections to range from 4.7 to 30.6% in different countries
and the OP link put it at up to 32%
Last edited by msl; 04-30-2018 at 12:24 PM.
Very interesting, thanks, msl
Thought the losses would be higher with native genetics. They seem to me in a normal range, yes even lower than nature selects normally.
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney
SiWolke: Completely off topic, but I bought some German creamed honey today. It is from a company named Langnese and labeled as “Creamy Country Honey.” Made in Bargteheide, Germany. Not sure exactly how it got to Alabama, USA. Haven’t tried it yet. Know the group?
BTW as a general comment. If you are a person that needs medication to survive, you are not a healthy person. I think the same applied to bees.