Measuring Colony Loses

Advanced beekeeping topics, the minutia and the macro, change the world and the industry.
Mark Smith
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:25 pm
Location: Locust, North Carolina

Measuring Colony Loses

Postby Mark Smith » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:29 pm

When someone ask you, what is your colony lose percentage, do you measure that for a calendar year or just which colonies overwintered?

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Measuring Colony Loses

Postby moebees » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:06 pm

Should be for the calendar year unless they are asking for winter losses.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

User avatar
Michael Bush
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 11:34 am
Location: Nehawka, Nebraska
Contact:

Re: Measuring Colony Loses

Postby Michael Bush » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:40 pm

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
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Measuring Colony Loses

Postby moebees » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:22 am

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."

Mark Smith
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:25 pm
Location: Locust, North Carolina

Re: Measuring Colony Loses

Postby Mark Smith » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:33 pm

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.

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Measuring Colony Loses

Postby moebees » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:50 pm

Sold nucs would not be losses.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."


Return to “Advanced Beekeeping”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest