The PSBA Research committee has been gathering both qualitative and quantitative data for the past 2 years. The total amount of data that was collected in year 2 far exceeds the data collected in year 1. This trend is expected to continue and we want to make it as easy as possible for our membership to participate.
Below are the topics that are being investigated followed by instructions for how to participate.
A. Overwintering Success
The better we overwinter our bees, the more we sustain ourselves. To get clarity on the most important details, we ask for qualitative data about how you overwinter your hives. If you come to PSBA monthly meetings, you have likely filled out the Overwintering survey. If you have not, follow the below link to the survey and submit it using the email address at the bottom of this post. If you have the data for previous years, I can still accept it. If your memory is a bit fuzzy and uncertain, don’t guess, leave options blank.
B. Varroa Mites
The Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is the major problem facing honeybees right now. We intend to increase the overall knowledge base of mite biology and how beekeepers can plan their strategy for dealing with Varroa. If you are not monitoring the levels of Varroa, it is likely (if not predictable) that you have many mites and are potentially (if not predictably) infecting colonies that are within 3-4 miles of your bees. All information regarding Varroa is important and necessary information to help us understand how to manage our honeybees here in the Pacific Northwest. Let this be a priority of your beekeeping strategy, share your data, and together we can find the best practices based upon data.
Follow the links below for different data recording sheets; one is for live drops and the other is for shaking mites after treating them with powdered sugar/ether/alcohol wash. Please indicate every time you treat for mites, especially the first date you treated for mites this year (after coming out of winter if it is an overwintered colony). To read up more on how you can specifically help, see the last link to the Mite Report. If possible, doing both the live drops and sugar/ether/alcohol rolls is preferred; this is a major emphasis this year.
C. In Hive Monitoring
In conjunction with the Green River College (GRC), PSBA will be managing two colonies that have Arnia sensors in them to help facilitate quantitative analysis. Other individuals and groups are also pitching in with GRC such that we will receive information from at least 8 colonies. Next year we anticipate purchasing more Arnia sensors. Look forward to this data once we get it up and running.
In addition to Arnia sensors, GRC is working with a local entrepreneur to place 100 custom made temperature and humidity sensors into 100 colonies this coming winter. In July we will send out a call for participants around the Puget Sound, so stay tuned for that.
D. Contact information
All data, questions, suggestions and any other curiosities can be sent to the following email.