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   Supporting Scotland's Bees and Beekeepers        

Diagnostic Services Provided By SASA
During Covid-19 Crisis


SBA – Dundee University Research Collaboration: Overwinter Survey: April 2016

We wish to continue the annual surveys of overwinter losses that we began in 2012 and report back to the membership when all the data for 2015-16 is analysed. In addition, an overall analysis will be performed on data produced over all 5 years (eg. geographical location, forage availability and reported Varroa load) and general regional variations and emerging trends (if any) over this period. This survey will be supplemented by a honey yield survey at the end of the season and we wish as much data from the same apiaries as possible.

Your help will be greatly appreciated as the more returns that we have the more reliable the data will be. Previous analysis by professional geographers at Dundee, using data from years 1-3, indicated that by mapping Scottish colony losses by actual geographical distribution indicated a correlation of colony losses with two stressors. The first was increased rainfall (from the average for each area) and secondly, intensive land use. We will deliver the full 5 years data to the geographers to provide a more complete assessment of these stressors of honeybees in Scotland. In addition, given the ban on the three major neonicotinoids (for use on bee visited crops) in December 2013, we will be able to compare colony overwintering loss rates before (3 years; 2011-2014) and after (2 years; 2014-2016) their restriction. Has there been any benefit to Scottish honeybees, or have their use been replaced by more toxic alternatives?

If you have failed colonies, please freeze a sample of 30 bees and indicate this on the form provided. If you have a healthy colony at the same apiary, please also freeze 30 bees from one of these colonies (to serve as a control). Once we know how many samples are available, we will collect them to screen for the presence of Nosema ceranae. It is not yet clear if this new parasite is a threat to honeybees in Scotland.

All data will be held in strictest confidence and no personal details released. Any use of data will not bear identification unless with your permission. We may wish to follow up some data so contact details are requested. Full postal code information is important for accurate geographical analysis of final data.

Download your survey form using either of the links below:

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