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Our Department of Primary Industry in Queensland. Australia did a survey of the prevelance of SHB in the state. The results are rather worrying. Let me know if you would like me to send you the results ( as an attachments)


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Would it be appropriate to simply post it here?

1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Would it be appropriate to simply post it here?

I hope the post is not to large? I post the most relevant part her:

Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries (QPIF) conducted a survey of beekeepers to obtain a better understanding of issues related to Small Hive beetle (Aethina tumida), a pest of honeybee hives that were first introduced into Queensland in 2002 and have since spread throughout the state.

Survey forms were sent out to all registered beekeepers early April, and 1455 forms were returned by late July. Some of these forms did not have anything written on them and other forms had either confusing answers or inconsistencies that made the data difficult to include in the analysis. For example the respondents may have simply written “beetles always present” or “many” etc. in response to how many hives have been lost to SHB, in other cases the number of hives noted as lost due to either SHB or other causes was greater than the total number of hives recorded as being owned in that period. This suggests some problems with how the questions were interpreted.

Although the survey form included many options relating to losses from causes other than SHB, this analysis only looked at SHB related losses and treatments, for clarity and simplicity.

Data from 1339 survey forms was used to generate the following:

TABLE 1: Response to “Do your hives or Nucleus colonies have SHB”

Hive category
No Yes Don’t know Total
1-5 211 428 (63%) 36 675
6-20 77 269 (76%) 10 356
21-49 15 105 (85%) 4 124
50-499 17 138 (89%) 1 156
≥ 500 0 28 (100%) 0 28
Total 320 (24%) 968 (72%) 51 1339

TABLE 2: Average hive losses due to SHB in the last year

Hive category Number responding % of hives lost Average loss/ beekeeper Actual number lost (approx.)
1-5 377 46.4 1.06 400
6-20 204 25.9 2.66 543
21-49 73 18.9 6.03 440
50-499 101 13.0 20.7 209
≥ 500 24 5.2 54.4 1306
Uncategorised** 44 6 264
** responded to hive losses but failed to indicate how many hives they owned – hence no percentage loss can be determined and they cannot be included in any category of beekeeper.

Value of losses to SHB
An attempt has been made to estimate a value for the hive losses due to SHB. It was assumed that a hive (for this calculation) consisted of a brood box plus 2 boxes of full of honey. The cost of either replacing the hive or time to clean the hive up after a “slime out”; replacement of frames, queen and bees was estimated as $220 (incl GST). The cost for loss of honey was estimated as $180 (27 kg honey /box @ ~ $3.30/kg). This gives a total value for each hive of $400. The resulting value placed on losses is in Table 3.

TABLE 3: Estimated value of hive losses due to SHB in the last year

Hive Category Number responding Average value hive loss/respondent Average total value of losses in each category
1-5 377 $424 $159,848
6-20 204 $1,064 $217,056
21-49 73 $2,412 $176,076
50-499 101 $8,280 $836,280
≥ 500 24 $21,760 $522,240
Uncategorised** 44 $2,400 $105,600
TOTAL 823 $2,017,100

These numbers are quite alarming
• they add up to 3,162 hives lost at a value of $2,017,100
• are far short of the real figure
o only half of the registered beekeepers responded
o of these responses some data was omitted because it could not be analysed
o these figures do not include losses of nucleus hives (Table 4), losses from future production or costs associated with managing the beetle.
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