Bee surveys give us baseline information
Biosecurity New Zealand has contracted Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research to survey managed honey bee colonies since 2015. The annual questionnaire asks beekeepers about winter colony losses and the possible causes. We use the results to monitor and compare colony loss rates between New Zealand and more than 35 other countries. The results also contribute to other work to improve bee health.
Design of the survey
The online survey was adapted for New Zealand from surveys being taken in other countries. Participation is voluntary. Beekeepers are asked about:
- losses of hives (and causes) over winter
- queen bee health
- monitoring and treatment for mites (Varroa)
- feeding supplements used
- floral sources providing significant nectar flow
- shares of colonies in pollination and honey production
- broodcomb replacement policy.