The results for the 2014 – 2015 Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) National Management Survey are posted on the BIP website. This survey was done in conjunction with the National Colony Loss Survey and represents the management practices of over 6,000 Beekeepers from across the country. Together, the beekeepers who took part in the survey collectively managed nearly 400,000 colonies representing about 14.5% of the 2.74 million colonies in the United States. We would like to give a big thanks to all of the beekeepers who participated in the survey – your participation is highly valued by the Bee Informed Partnership and other beekeepers that are able to review which management strategies work and those that do not. As part of our analysis for the National Management Survey, we compared the losses of beekeepers that employed specific management practices against other practices that are available for beekeepers. By conducting this analysis, we are able to obtain the proportion of colonies lost relative to other practices, highlighting which practices are most effective.
Please note, in explaining the results we always caveat it with the caution that “Correlation does not equal causation.” What this means is that just because one management practice is resulting (correlating) in lower colony losses does not mean that using this management practice is the cause for lower losses. One of the great examples of this idea would be the statement that “As ice cream consumption increases, shark attacks also increase.” In this example, the explanation seems obvious. Ice cream consumption does not cause shark attacks, it just happens that both of these statistics peak during summer months. There are various confounding variables that are effecting changes in ice cream consumption and shark attacks. As the weather gets warmer ice cream becomes more appealing and more people are likely to go swimming in the ocean. Ice cream consumption is not causing shark attacks and vice versa. When reading through the results for the National Management Survey it is important to keep in mind that there are many correlative relationships but not all are causative; however, in viewing the results, it allows us to make more data and hypothesis driven research.
To read through the results for the National Management Survey, please follow the link below to view the different beekeeping management practices and the colony losses associated with those practices.