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Everything posted by Pike

  1. Thanks @Gino de Graaf for raising the question about intentional losses and to @Maggie James for pointing out the text box at the end. I read those comments thoroughly every year so make future improvements in the questionnaire. For example, the fact that we ask about queen replacement strategies at all is due to a comment on a past survey. It's very early days still, but I had a look at the preliminary results for this year a few days ago. At this early stage, it looks like winter loss rates were higher (sometimes much higher) than last year in Auckland, Coromandel, Hawke’s Bay,
  2. The 2020 NZ Colony Loss Survey will launch in early September. Please watch your email inboxes for an invitation to participate. For those who are unfamiliar with the survey, the goal is to quantify winter losses across both regions and time. While NZ's winter loss rates are 'low' by international standards, NZ beekeepers lost around 82,000 hives last winter. Moreover, loss rates at a national level increased 25% between 2015 and 2019. And while some places like the lower South Island have seen year-on-year increases in loss rates since 2015, others like the lower North Island have seen s
  3. MPI has commissioned Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research (a New Zealand Crown Research Institute) to undertake the latest wave of the NZ Colony Loss Survey. You should have received an invitation to participate in the last few days. The survey is intended for all beekeepers, big or small. It has been conducted annually since 2015. The survey is completely confidential. Results will be posted on the MPI website early in the new year. Please click here if you haven't seen last year's results yet: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/growing-and-harvesting/honey-and-bees/bee-colony-los
  4. In an earlier post, @frazzledfozzle said that their top priorities for research were pathogens and non-manuka honey. Looking at the second figure I posted, these priorities seem to align pretty well with those of other commercial beekeepers, 46% of whom put pathogens in the highest priority category and 29% of whom put non-manuka honey in the highest priority category. These are above carrying capacity and beekeeper behaviour, which @frazzledfozzle put at the bottom of the list. It's interesting that we can look at the same set of graphs and reach such different conclusions... Perh
  5. Thanks for that. I hope that this survey might provide some guidance to scientists and science funders on what kinds of research beekeepers would find most useful. That way, we can design research programmes that are fit for purpose.
  6. Beekeepers were asked to rank research projects within each research topic, and they were also asked to evaluate their familiarity with the methods used in those research projects on a scale of 0 (not at all familiar) to 5 (extremely familiar). Below, I will post the prioritisation of research topics for those who rated their own familiarity as 3 or higher. Treatment of varroa
  7. Commercial operators (I used 250 hives as a cutoff, and I realise that that number is arbitrary) and non-commercial operators have somewhat different priorities as may be seen from the figure below (for example, commercial operators rank improved biosecurity #1 and non-commercial operators rank improved biosecurity #3).
  8. Thanks for the support of this community for the NZ Bee Research Priorities Survey. I am writing to share some results with you. The survey comprised two distinct parts. First, respondents were asked to prioritise research topics. Second, respondents were asked to evaluate possible research projects for the topics that they considered to be among the highest priorities. Respondents were also asked to evaluate their familiarity with the methods used in the research projects and to identify the size of their beekeeping operations. In total, 582 individuals responded to th
  9. Thanks to all of you who have already completed the survey on research priorities. The survey asks people to prioritise 14 possible research topics according to high / medium / low priority and then to rank those in the high and medium categories. Currently, treatment of Varroa tops the list. Here's is the ranking as of this afternoon: 1. Treatment of Varroa 2. Detection and prevention of AFB 3. Improved biosecurity to protect NZ bees 4. Honey bee pathogens (Nosema, Lotmaria, etc.) 5. Honey bee genetics/breeding 6. Toxins and pesticides 7.
  10. Thanks for the interesting and useful discussion around the topic of the survey. I really thought that 1 or 2 of the research topics were going to be right at the top, but after having glanced through a few dozen of the responses, it doesn't look like there's a whole lot of consensus about which research topics to prioritise (yet!). It will be interesting to see how that changes as more surveys come in (and I promise to share the results with anyone who is interested). I'll be at the ApiNZ conference on Monday 23 July if anyone would like to discuss the survey, and I'll have a few
  11. Thanks for giving the survey a go. I don't know if you plan to be at to the Apiculture NZ conference in Blenheim, but if you can't get it to work before Sunday, I'll be at the conference on Sunday and Monday. I'll be able to help anyone with the survey there.
  12. I am an economist at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute. Since 2015, I have run the NZ Colony Loss Survey. In talking with beekeepers and scientists over the last several years and by browsing the forum, it is clear to me that while scientists are great at dreaming up research ideas, not all of them have led to meaningful impacts for beekeepers. So, I have recently been working on developing a new survey, the NZ Bee Research Priorities Survey. The key idea behind the survey is to ask beekeepers themselves to prioritise possible r
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