Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wintering Loss of Honey Bee Colonies, Canada 2007-2013

Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists publishes yearly reports of wintering loss of honey bee colonies. The 2012/2013 report has just been released.

From the report:
Factors Cited by beekeepers: 
Weather was seen as a major factor contributing to winter loss for many beekeepers in 
the Prairie Provinces(Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) as well as Quebec. The 
winter of 2012/2013 was long in duration and the spring weather was cold and wet in 
many areas creating unsuitable conditions for colonies to develop. There are concerns 
that the early spring across Canada in the previous year may have contributed to the early 
build up of varroa levels. Other concerns cited by beekeepers included nosema (Alberta
and Saskatchewan), poor queen health (Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia) and 
weak colonies in fall (Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario). In Ontario, many 
beekeepers cited acute and chronic pesticide damage as a contributing factor in winter 
mortality. It is worth noting that although varroa is still understood to be a serious problem in beekeeping, there were fewer concerns cited by beekeepers in some regions 
indicating that many of the treatment options can work well when properly applied. 

I compiled a chart of the yearly data from 2006/2007 through 2012/2013:
source: CAPA

If you would like to (have some fun dragging a slider across the timeline - ooh, dancing balls!) change the chart view or filter the data, go here:

http://goo.gl/d9fFW7

As usual, British Columbia rocks! The weather helps, of course. If I were a bee living in Winterpeg, MB, I would want to move out west, too.

Some day I'll try and figure out just what I did to my code to lose the link highlighting colour!

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