Advanced beekeeping topics, the minutia and the macro, change the world and the industry.
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- Michael Bush
- Backyard Beekeeper
- Posts: 350
- Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 11:34 am
- Location: Nehawka, Nebraska
I'm guessing most go by winter since that used to be when most of the losses where. Now that Nosema cerana is rampant a lot of them die in the summer. BIP started tracking summer losses I think just this last time. My problem with "summer losses" is that it is sometimes difficult to tell if they swarmed and ended up queenless or if they dwindled from something else, unless you are in them a lot. I wouldn't count a hive that goes queenless as a loss for the purposes that we are typically tracking losses. Usually you're looking for diseases or pests as the cause and counting those. It's like a lot of things, it depends... Production is the same. You will get very different numbers if you count every hive, even if you had no plans to harvest honey from them because of queen rearing, splitting etc. than if you only count the "production hives" that you planned to make honey off of. Also the more you feed syrup, the more you will harvest So numbers vary depending on how perceive what you are trying to measure. "There are lies, damm lies and statistics"--Mark Twain
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
Again, if the question is colony loss to disease or pests then count that number (although the cause of colony collapse is not always known). There is is no reason to exclude different kinds of loss from a total loss figure. Yes there are problems with self reporting statistics. In individual cases there is no way to know the accuracy or honesty of the reporting entity. However, in a large sample pool there are statistical methods to help account for those issues but it is never as good as reporting from a more consistent source. Samuel Clemens view of statistics was maybe influenced by the fact that modern statistical methods were just beginning to emerge toward the latter part of his life. So to him the widespread application of statistical methods was something brand new and perhaps he did not understand the incredible power of statistical analysis.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."
- Freshman Beekeeper
- Posts: 24
- Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:25 pm
- Location: Locust, North Carolina
Thank you for your comments. I think this is one of those things that shows just how much "words matter". It would be difficult to give an accurate number for annual loss because I sell nucs during the spring and summer. A lot of splitting and moving around of resources. When someone ask me what my loss numbers are, I'll just say " My winter losses are.....". I think that would be more truthful. Thanks for your input.
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