APHIS National Honey Bee Survey Message

APHIS National Honey Bee Survey     October 31, 2016

Dear Los Angeles County Beekeeper Association,

My name is Shayne Madella and I am the project coordinator for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) National Honey Bee Disease Survey. We are planning to take samples in the Southern California region in late November/early December and we are looking for new beekeeper participants in the region who are willing to volunteer to have samples taken. The APHIS NHBS is a national survey of honey bee pests and diseases that has been funded annually since 2009 by the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and conducted in collaboration with the University of Maryland, USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and State Apiary Specialists. This national survey is being conducted in an attempt to document which bee diseases, parasites, or pests of honey bees are present and/or likely absent in the U.S. Specifically, this survey will attempt to verify the absence of the parasitic mite Tropilaelaps and other exotic threats to honey bee populations (e.g., Apis cerana and slow bee paralysis virus). To maximize the information gained from this survey effort, collected samples will be analyzed for other honey bee diseases and parasites known to be present in the U.S.

Additionally, funding is provided for this survey year for states to collect ~3 grams of pollen from brood frames that will be tested for >170 known pesticides. This pollen will be collected from the same composite 8 colonies undergoing the standard survey sampling and sent to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) in Gastonia, NC for analysis. Each state is asked to send in composite samples of pollen from 10 of the 24 apiaries this year.

This cross-country survey continues to be the most comprehensive honey bee pest and health survey to date, and provides essential disease and pest load base line information. This information will help place current and future epidemiological studies in context and thus may indirectly help investigations of emerging conditions. The University of Maryland (UMD) is coordinating this survey in collaboration with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Bee Research Lab (BRL) and APHIS.

The only requirement for the beekeeper is that they must have at least ten colonies in their apiary. Eight colonies will be sampled with an extra two in reserve if some colonies are not suitable for sampling. The beekeeper does not need to be on the property during sample besides letting the researchers into the apiary but we do enjoy the company.

For further information on the survey please consult the APHIS webpage on the survey below:


If you have any questions on this please contact me at my provided email address or at my cell phone number:

(240) 437-2874

Thank you,

Shayne Madella Faculty Research Assistant Bee Informed Partnership Department of Entomology 4112 Plant Science Building University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742 (240) 437-2874

US National Beekeeper Survey (Closes April 1, 2016)

US National Beekeeper Survey (Closes April 1st, 2016)

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey! Through this brief questionnaire we are hoping to gain a better understanding of current beekeeper demographics. We aim to provide current statistics to the beekeeping industry, beekeepers, and also better focus our education, outreach, and networking efforts in the beekeeping community. Your information is completely anonymous. Data will be analyzed by the Bee Girl organization’s Executive Director, Sarah Red-Laird, and Scientific Adviser, Scott Debnam, and published on www.beegirl.org. This survey will close on April 1st, 2016.

While there are very succinct colony loss and honey production surveys each year, there hasn’t been a comprehensive “beekeeper” survey for years. With the popularity of beekeeping on the rise, no one can argue with the fact that the beekeeper demographic has changed in the last decade. As educators, researchers, and individuals making up an industry, we should know who we are. Moving forward, having a grasp on census data of the industry will help us to know where, who, and how to reach out for better policy making, research, issue advocacy, continuing education, etc. 

Continue to Survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1De-WAUHL6s3QVIPvntA0KgNCI8nJDFRZ9dXRD84tjuI/viewform?c=0&w=1

USDA Conducts Nationwide Honeybee Survey

 Turlock Journal   By Alysson Aredas    December 31, 2015

The United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service will embark on its second month gathering information on honey bee colonies across the nation in hopes of promoting honey bee health and reducing colony losses during winter to no more than 15 percent within 10 years.

For these surveys, NASS will reach out to beekeepers and farmers to determine the number and health of honey bee colonies, honey production and stocks, and the cost to farmers of pollination services. Survey results will be used to develop baseline data and additional goal metrics for winter, summer and total annual colony loss.

“These new data will be crucial to measuring and understanding the current state of the pollinator industry in the United States,” said NASS Administrator Joseph Reilly. “Honey beekeepers are encouraged to participate in the surveys so that policy makers have a robust data source to make informed decisions and protect our struggling pollinators.”

Pollinators such as honey bees are critical to the nation’s economy, food security and environmental health. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year, and helps to provide ample fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Despite their importance, honey bees are struggling. Last year, the ninth annual national survey of honey bee losses revealed that approximately 40 percent of honey bee colonies died over a 12-month period from April 2014 to April 2015. For beekeepers, this decline threatened the viability of their livelihoods and the essential pollination services their bees provide to agriculture.

A significant factor in this drastic reduction is Colony Collapse Disorder, which the USDA Agricultural Research Services defined as a “dead colony with no adult bees or dead bee bodies, but with a live queen and usually honey and immature bees still present.” As of yet, no scientific cause for CCD has been proven.

Beekeepers will receive two surveys from NASS, one of which is the existing Bee and Honey Inquiry, which surveys beekeepers about honey production, price, and stocks, but not colony health. The second survey will be used by NASS to publish state-level estimates on key topics, including number of colonies, colonies lost, colonies added, and colonies affected by certain stressors. The results of the surveys are slated for release in March and May, respectively.

Additionally, NASS will survey farmers about crops pollinated, number of colonies needed for pollination, and the cost for those colonies. NASS plans to publish those survey results in December 2016.

These surveys and corresponding data are part of the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, which is prepared by the Pollinator Health Task Force and co-chaired by USDA. The strategy is a comprehensive plan to work across the Federal government and with partners to address the research, education and management challenges that must be overcome to sustain healthy pollinator populations. One of the three overarching goals of the National Strategy is to reduce honey bee colony loss and to develop additional baseline data using the NASS data.



Take The Survey This Weekend

The Bee Informed Partnership, a joint project among numerous universities and laboratories, is a project whose aim is to help beekeepers make better management decisions and thus reduce colony losses.  To do this effectively, we need beekeepers, lots of beekeepers, to participate in our survey. We are asking you to please participate in two surveys.  Both surveys are open only from 29 March through 15 April 2013. You can learn more about the Bee Informed Partnership at beeinformed.org.

Please click on the link below or paste it into your browser to participate in the National Winter Loss and Management Survey:


The winter loss survey should take less than 5 minutes and the management survey should take less than 20 minutes.

The purpose of the Bee Informed Partnership is to use beekeepers' real world experiences to help solve beekeepers' real world problems. We will use the data generated from these two surveys to help you decide which management practices are best for beekeepers like you, who live where you do and have operations similar to yours.  For this to work, we need as many participants as possible...so please take the time to fill out the questionnaire and SEND THIS EMAIL TO ALL THE BEEKEEPERS YOU KNOW asking them to fill out these questionnaires too.

You can see what type of results we will generate by visiting the Beeinformed.org website and browsing through our results section. Currently we are in the process of posting last year’s management results, so visit the site often to see these results as they are posted and discussed in our BLOG section.

Depending on the number of participants we hope to have the results from this year’s survey broken down by region and should have those results posted within months of the survey close date now that we have built the infrastructure needed to automate report generation.  

Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us at askbeeinformed@gmail.com or call us at 443.296.2470.

You can learn more about the Bee Informed Partnership at beeinformed.org.