Spring survey results.
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NY Bee Wellness Workshops,, a 501c3 charitable educational nonprofit program to teach beekeepers honey bee disease recognition & to promote honey bee health.
USDA NIFA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program,Grant #2011-494400-30631

Spring Survey 2015 NY Bee Wellness

Thank you to all who have completed the survey!

The survey represents a sample of non-migratory beekeepers from across New York State
. The results may also assist those who are conducting classes for or providing mentoring to other beekeepers.
Please send any comments,suggestions, or questions. The survey can be further refined on request.
Please watch for the NY Bee Wellness Fall Survey this year.
The results have been compiled by NY Bee Wellness and
the University of Rochester Bio-Statistics Department.
NOTE: If the data does not display properly, please view the email in your browser by clicking the link in the upper right corner of this page.

Links to the regional survey results are at the bottom of the page.

Healthy Bees - NY Bee Wellness

 308 Non-migratory beekeepers reported, from 56 of 62 counties in New York State

3510- Total number of bee colonies in November 2014
2523- Total number of bee colonies in April 2015

28%- Average loss of colonies during the winter of 2014-2015 (total 987 hives lost).
The loss for the Winter of 2013-2014 was 48%.

 Loss levels tended to vary with the number of hives managed-
those with fewer hives tended to experience more loss:

Hives               # of beekeepers      Range

1 to 5 204 25-63%
6 to 25 79 23-67%
26 to 100 20 15-59%
>100 6 12-22%
  Total 309 av loss 28%

 Beekeepers overwintering nucleus colonies- (16%) had 27% Loss

Q7 What do you assess to be the MAIN
 CAUSE of hive death
8) Cold (adequate number of bees, honey stores) 31.13% 99
No loss 15.72% 50
1)Starvation (no honey stores) 14.15% 45
2) small or weak cluster (handful of bees with few on bottom board) 7.86% 25
Other (please specify) 7.23% 23
6) possible queen failure ( lack of brood, queen cells/queen cups) 5.35% 17
12) unknown 4.09% 13
7) dysentery (excessive fecal material on front of hive and inside hive) 3.77% 12
4) virus/mites 2.83% 9
5) poor ventilation ( mold and/or soggy bees) 2.83% 9
10) Nuisance animals (mice, raccoon, bear) 1.89% 6
3) varroa mite (mite guanine deposits) 1.26% 4
9) Accident (hive blew over etc) 0.94% 3
11)other (comment below) 0.63% 2
13) brood disease 0.31% 1
Please note: the chart below shows the distribution of loss for beekeepers, whether they had 1 hive or 100 hives; this does not show the percentage loss of all hives.
Q6 What SYMPTOMS did you observe in dead hives?
large number of dead bees at floor of hive 47.48% 151
Bees with heads in cells 43.08% 137
small or weak cluster (handful of bees with few on bottom board) 27.04% 86
other (comment below) 20.13% 64
dysentery (excessive fecal material on front of hive and inside hive) 17.30% 55
moldy comb 15.09% 48
unknown 9.43% 30
"sawdust" like material 9.12% 29
Nuisance animals (mice, raccoon, bear) 8.81% 28
capped brood 7.86% 25
queen cells/queen cups 5.35% 17
Accident (hive blew over etc) 4.72% 15
capped brood with perforations 2.20% 7
deformed wings 1.26% 4
"K"wings 0.63% 2

Some respondent comments:

  • "The clusters were too small, they got stuck to one side and starved. I think varroa weakened them."
  • "no dead hives - both survived. Both were 1st year hives that I harvested no honey from. One deep and two mediums. Hay bales for a north wind break. I think we got lucky."
  • "found a chipmunk in the bottom of the hive with a newly built nest and eat a small portion of my center bottom hive but no further damage after i did my spring maintenance and cleaned up and inspected my hives"
  • "In all three hives, the queens were heading into the third or fourth year. In my surviving hives, they were all younger."
  • "Nosema, high spore count "
  • "Atmospheric moisture combined with prolonged minus zero weather. Hives were wrapped ,insulated with wood chips in medium on top. Bees froze."
  • "40 years in the bee yard and I starved out four of my strongest hives. Slow learner wouldn't ya say!"



Some of the reviews for NY Bee Wellness, Thank you!

* "I thank the NY Bee Wellness program for my bee hive survival"
* "great program with good educational materials"
* "Thank you! I am new to bee keeping and wanted to do the survey to let you know I have started two hives this spring, and will do the survey again next year."

Continue this beneficial program,
Please consider donating to continue more surveys,educational programs and outreach. Your donation supports our work. Please consider making a donation to NY Bee Wellness or mail your donation to NY Bee Wellness, Inc POB 25291 Rochester NY 14625.


            - Pat Bono, Project Director, NY Bee Wellness
Donate to NY Bee Wellness
NY Bee Wellness is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
. Donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Please click on links below for regional survey data.

Western Region: Erie, Niagara, Cattaragus, Chautauqua, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Allegheny Counties. (Albany, Jamestown)


North Central Region: Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Wayne, Seneca, Yates Counties. (Rochester, Canandaigua)


South Central Region: Schuyler, Cayuga, Tompkins, Chemung, Steuben, Tioga, Cortland Counties. (Ithaca)


Central Region: Oneida, Onondaga, Madison, Chenango, Broome, Delaware, Otsego, Herkimer Counties. (Syracuse, Utica, Binghamton)


Northern Region: Jefferson, Oswego, Lewis, St Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren Counties. (Watertown)


Eastern Region: Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, Washington, Schoharie, Albany, Rensselaer Counties. (Albany)


South East Region: Greene, Columbia, Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester Counties. (Poughkepsie, Kingston)


NYC Metro Region: Bronx, Richmond, Kings, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk

Copyright © 2015 NY Bee Wellness, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
POB 25291 Rochester NY 14625

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