Some issues arising in the 2017 survey and looking forwards to the 2018 survey

Alison Gray, Robert Brodschneider

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


In this workshop we will review the monitoring questionnaire from 2017 and finalise a version for use in 2018.
The loss rates analysis from winter 2016/17, which we hope will appear in the Journal of Apicultural Research, will be followed by a press release at the time of publication. A key part of this work is examining variation in loss rates by country and region. Mapping regional relative risk shows geographical variation and patterns, and allows comparison over time and identification of areas of high risk, but also has disadvantages which will be discussed.
In the 2017 survey a small set of new questions were introduced on some aspects of bee management practices not already covered in the questionnaire, such as use of hives made of synthetic materials. The results have highlighted interesting variation between countries choosing to ask these optional additional questions. A question was also asked on whether beekeepers noticed Vespa velutina, the Asian or yellow-legged hornet, foraging on their bees, as suggested by the COLOSS Velutina task force. Analysis of these results indicated that Vespa velutina was present in some countries where it has not officially been confirmed as present yet. However, the results do suggest a need for further investigations and greater beekeeper education. The wording and use of these various questions will be reviewed. The questions on winter losses were slightly re-structured in 2017 and this will also be examined.
Some countries participate regularly and reliably in the survey but are no longer regularly represented at workshops or the COLOSS conference. Others have difficulty achieving more than a small number of responses. Both may benefit from greater support, and this will be part of the discussion of the workshop.
In the 2018 survey we hope to maintain our current level of participation of 30 countries or more. We also hope to raise data quality by making co-ordinators more aware of the difficulties raised by unanswered questions, especially those required for loss rate calculation, and by encouraging/supporting national co-ordinators to make beekeepers aware of these issues too.
Our ResearchGate collaborative project "COLOSS monitoring of honey bee colony losses", set up in December 2016, currently has 118 followers, reflecting the ongoing interest in this core work of COLOSS.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2018
EventCOLOSS Monitoring Group Workshop, Nitra, Slovakia - Nitra, Slovakia
Duration: 7 Feb 20188 Feb 2018


WorkshopCOLOSS Monitoring Group Workshop, Nitra, Slovakia


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