Fall 2015 Survey RESULTS NY Bee Wellness


NY Bee Wellness Fall Survey 2015 Results
Thank you to all who have completed the survey!

The survey represents a sample of 268 non-migratory beekeepers from 56 counties in New York State.

Highlights: The average respondent started with 5 hives at the end of winter and increased their number of hives by more than 2 fold, mostly by making splits, and entering winter with 12 hives. 25% of beekeepers intended to overwinter nucs. 87% of respondents were pleased to some extent, with the 2015 honey crop.

The results may also assist those who are conducting classes for or providing mentoring to other beekeepers.
Pleasesend any comments, suggestions, or questions.

Please watch for the NY Bee Wellness Spring Survey in 2016.

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-5; Total hives- 1451
Q2) How many NEW hives did you add this year?
  •      Splits-978       Packages-435         Nucs-276       Swarms-247           Other-136
Q3) How many of the hives from QUESTIONS #1 and #2 are still alive now? Total hives entering Winter?
  • Average number of hives per beekeeper-12; Total hives- 3251
Q4) Have you checked for varroa mite levels since the beginning of August? Please check your preferred method.
Did Not Check 41.79% 112
Sticky Board 19.78% 53
Powdered Sugar Shake 17.54% 47
None of above 9.7% 26
Drone Brood Sampling 8.58% 23
Alcohol wash 1.49% 4
Ether Roll 1.12% 3
Other: digital photos, hive beetle trap, check for deformed wing, visual check of bees

Q5) If you treated for mites, what treatment did you use?

Formic Acid 47.67% 92
Other 33.68% 65
Oxalic Vapor 11.40% 22
Sugar Dusting 10.88% 21
Amitraz (apivar) 10.36% 20
Thymol (Api-life Var, Apiguard, Thymovar, etc) 9.84% 19
Drone brood removal 8.81% 17
Hop Guard, HopGuard II 7.77% 15
Brood breaks 6.74% 13
Coumaphos (Checkmite) 1.55% 3
Fluvalinate (Apistan) 1.04% 2
Other: mite resistant queens, change queens, oxalic dribble, mineral oil fogging, and frequency of treatments.

Q6) Now that Oxalic acid is approved for use on honeybees in NY, do you plan to use the oxalic dribble/trickle method on your bees?

Yes 23% 58
Unsure 17% 39
No 60% 145

Q7) What problems did your bees have this year?

Varroa Mite 30.22% 81
Possible queen failure (lack of brood, queen cells/cups) 29.10% 78
Small Hive Beetle 25.75% 69
Other 18.28% 49
Wax Moth 16.79% 45
Late season swarms (late August –October) 16.42% 44
Nuisance animals (bear, mice, raccoon) 11.57% 31
Unknown 9.70% 26
Deformed Wing Virus 8.96% 24
Strong colony/no honey production 8.58% 23
Chalkbrood 3.73% 10
Accident (hive blew over, etc) 3.36% 9
Nosema 1.87% 5
European Foulbrood 1.87% 5
American Foulbrood 1.12% 3
Unknown brood disease 1.12% 3
Other: yellow jackets, skunks, robbing, Sacbrood, flood, swarms, ants, poisoning.

Q8) Will you be overwintering nucs?

  •    YES, 25%
  • “I used double nuc boxes and overwintered 21 of them with 0 loss”
  • “last winter I stacked 5 framed deep nucs four high and wrapped with foil insulation. I read that bees might prefer a tall column to conserve heat. It seemed to work .”
  • “Configuration: (2) 2 five frame nuc bodies, one on top of the other. Nucs have been fed 2:1 sugar water & will have winter pollen patties & fondant. They will be wrapped in black roofing paper.”
  • “5/5 deeps 5/5/5 mediums. Healthy and heavy”

Q9) Were you pleased with this year’s honey crop?

  •      YES- 71%,   Somewhat- 16%,     NO- 13%
Q10) Other comments:
  •  “Start supporting top bar hives more. Although not ideal from a commercial honey producers standpoint, they are healthier for the bees. Since they require no chemical interference, they result in chemical-free honey and wax. Better for bees, AND better for humans”
  •  “As far as the Varroa mites, I made a decision to treat every hive, every year. After treating each hive 3 times at 7 day intervals, the bees were fine. I have seen no evidence of negative effects on them. So, as far as mite counts, I don’t check. I may treat in the spring as well. Some of my friends in Maine are doing this. This survey is a great idea! Thanks for doing all this!!!!”
  •  “Not a bad year overall, considering last year’s brutal winter”
  • “As more partnerships, coalitions, and groups are formed for bee health, I feel one important part is missing. Queen rearing for improving the health of bees and beekeeping”

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)

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: New York boroughs, Staten Island, Long Island