In this section
Survey topics include the number and nature of over-winter colony losses, queen health and performance, indicators of diseases and parasites, treatment of Varroa, supplemental feeding, and colony management. Because the challenges facing New Zealand beekeepers differ from those facing beekeepers in the northern hemisphere, the survey also includes questions that are specific to to the New Zealand context, e.g. apiary crowding, predation by wasps, and nectar flow from native trees.
For the purpose of completing the survey, winter is defined as the period between 1 June and the time the beekeepers open their hives for the first spring round.
In a nutshell
- Survey participation increased 5-fold.
- Estimated colony losses for winter 2016 were 9.8%. This is statistically indistinguishable from 2015 estimates.
- A higher share of hives was lost in the North Island compared to the South Island.
- Average loss rates are higher for non-commercial beekeepers than commercial; however, there is wide variation in individual loss rates.
- Colony death, queen problems and wasps accounted for 87.3% of winter colony losses in 2016.
- Hive numbers continue to grow. Evidence competition for apiary sites is growing: 16% of large beekeepers reported that they had sites overtaken or overcrowded or that their apiary sites had reduced floral resources.
- Most colonies are used for honey production only. Few are used for pollination only. Some are used for both.
Downloadable content & links
- pdf A4 NZ Colony Loss Survey - Summary 2016 pdf File, 403 KB