Fall 2016 NY Bee Wellness Survey results!
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NY Bee Wellness Fall Survey 2016 Results
Thank you to all who have completed the survey!
The survey represents a sample of 317 non-migratory beekeepers from 56 counties in New York State.
Overview: The average respondent started with 6 hives at the end of winter and increased their number of hives mostly by making splits, and entering winter with 10 hives. Some hives were combined before winter. Fewer packages and nucleus hives were purchased in 2016 likely because the winter of 2015-2016 had only a 24% loss. 21% of beekeepers intend to overwinter nucs. 72% of respondents were pleased to some extent, with the 2016 honey crop, 23% were definitely not, due to the widespread drought conditions in the mid to late summer. There was an unsettling trend of Fall dwindling and absconding, perhaps an omen for 2016-2017 winter survival/loss.

The results may also assist those who are conducting classes for or providing mentoring to other beekeepers.
Please send any comments, suggestions, or questions.
Please watch for the NY Bee Wellness Spring Survey in April 2017.

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.

            Survey Results

Q1) How many living full size hives (not nucs) did you have at the start of April that made it through the winter?
  •     Average number of hives per beekeeper-6; Total hives- 2,009
Q2) How many NEW hives did you add this year?
  •      Splits-843       Packages-296         Nucs-339       Swarms-437           Other-82
Q4) How many of the hives from QUESTIONS #1 and #2 are still alive now? Total hives entering Winter?
  • Average number of hives per beekeeper-10; Total hives- 3247
Q7) Have you checked for varroa mite levels since the beginning of August?
Did Not Check 46.7% 148
Sticky Board 18.9% 60
Powdered Sugar Shake 18.0% 57
None of above 6.0% 19
Drone Brood Sampling 5.0% 16
Alcohol wash 5.4% 17
Ether Roll 0.0% 0
 “I treat when mites on the tray exceed average of 3-5 per day. I use formic during the summer and oxalic in November after the last brood has emerged. I treated 2 hives with formic and 2 with oxalic in 2016.

Q8) If you treated for mites, what treatment did you use?
Formic Acid 48% 108
Other 34.2% 77
Oxalic Vapor 23.1% 22
Sugar Dusting 6.2% 14
Amitraz (apivar) 7.6% 17
Thymol (Api-life Var, Apiguard, Thymovar, etc) 10.2% 23
Drone brood removal 3.7% 8
Hop Guard, HopGuard II 9.3% 21
Brood breaks 3.6% 8
Coumaphos (Checkmite) 0.0% 0
Fluvalinate (Apistan) 1.8% 4
Other: wintergreen vapor; Essential oil in 1:1 feed Thyme, Spearmint, Lemon grass Thyme = Thymol ; Screened bottom boards
Q5) Did you raise your own queens?
Yes 21,7% 68
No 73.6% 231
attempted 4.8% 15

  • "I raised some queens, let some make their own queens and bought 3",
  • "Had a terrible time with the Queen's this year. If they didn't die in cell the hives I placed them in died out before fall".
    Q10) What problems did your bees have this year?
Varroa Mite 42.6% 135
Possible queen failure (lack of brood, queen cells/cups) 24.9% 79
Small Hive Beetle 26.8% 85
Other 18.6% 59
Wax Moth 19.2% 61
Late season swarms (late August –October) 12% 38
Nuisance animals (bear, mice, raccoon) 9.1% 29
Unknown 0.6% 22
Deformed Wing Virus 6.9% 22
Strong colony/no honey production 10.1% 32
Chalkbrood 3.8% 12
Accident (hive blew over, etc) 1.3% 4
Nosema 2.2% 7
European Foulbrood 0.09% 3
American Foulbrood 0.06% 2
pesticide 0.6% 2
Unknown brood disease 0.6% 2
  • "Spring freeze, summer drought";
  • "late spring early summer swarms-2 lost queens-2 weak queens";
  • 'Severe long-term draught = dearth, took down most of apiary, in spite of feeding and substituting frames of honey from dead-outs. Strong infestations of SHB added insults";
  • "Chronic Bee paralysis virus Black queen Parasitic mite syndrome";
  • "New split was not very strong by late fall so added some bees from strong hive. Lost one hive completely. Appeared to be strong up until late fall. All bees abandoned hive and left all honey stores behind and brood which subsequently died. Did not seem to be lots of new brood laid. Happened before I could treat for varroa";
  • " On November 6 I had 2 more dead hives.....both has hundreds of dead bees in the top of the crown boards";
  • "I had no problems or maladies";
  • "problems with all 3 of my hives right after moskitoe (sp) spraying".
Q12) Will you be overwintering nucs?

   YES, 21%

  • "Michael palmer style double nucs -> have 6 going into winter "
  • "Two box nucs, press together late winter with no wrap just a wind break at North end of run.";
  • "4 over 4 double NUC. Wrap with candy board and quilt box. 5 over 5 NUC. Wrap with candy board and quilt box. I make sure frames above them are full of capped honey. I put my NUC together side by side with entrance on opposit sides. 5/5, heavy with stores, no wrap, homasote inner cover, 5/8" bottom entrance, 3/4" top entrance, sunny location.";
  • "Great success with 5 over 5 nucs that have first or second year home raised queens. No wrapping or feeding, just windbreak and rigid insulation on top. Upper and lower entrances."   
    Q9) Were you pleased with this year's honey crop? (red is change from 2015)
  •      YES- 50%  -21%,   Somewhat- 27% +11%,     NO- 23% +10
NOTE: Historical average honey yield per hive in NYS is 60#
  • "With 7 hives this year, i produced what one did last year. I blame our lack of rain.";
  •  "120 lbs. per hive = 600+ total honey crop ";
  • " harvested 450 lbs early summer locust. Harvested no Basswood/ Harvested 750 pounds Knotweed/Goldenrod. Lost productions of easily 700 pounds due to drought";
  •  "drought in August curtailed summer flows abruptly. fall flows seemed two weeks late as well.";
  • " Averaged 35 to 40 a colony, normally 60 to 70.";
Q10) Other comments:
  • "What the heck is going on, lost most of hives in the fall";
  • "Were going to keep working at it"

Please consider donating to continue more surveys, educational programs and outreach. Your donation supports our work. Please consider making an online 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

Please click on links below for regional survey data.

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

Midwest 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: New York boroughs, Staten Island, Long Island
Copyright © 2017 NY Bee Wellness, All rights reserved.

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