Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

NZ Colony Loss Survey

Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research conducts the New Zealand Colony Loss Survey on behalf of the beekeeping industry and MPI. We are now preparing for the 2018 survey which will start in September. All registered beekeepers are invited to participate; whether they run a single back-yard hive or a nationwide commercial operation with many thousands of hives. The survey only asks about the health of bees and relevant management practices.

Are you a beekeeper?

All beekeepers are invited by e-mail to complete the on-line survey. Check your in-box after 1st September for the invitation. The time to do the survey is once your Spring hive inspections are complete. The information requested includes

  • How many hives have been lost?
  • What is the likely cause of the loss?

The survey will ask specifically about

  • Queen problems (including drone-laying queens, no queen etc.)
  • Colony death (including starvation and hives reduced to a few hundred bees)
  • American Foulbrood (AFB)
  • Varroa
  • Natural disasters (gale force winds, flooding etc.)
  • Theft or vandalism
  • Wasps and other pests
  • Supplements and feeding
  • Loss of sites and overcrowding

Depending on the size of your operation the survey will take around 5-20 minutes to complete. If you do not get an e-mail from us by 17th September, please get in touch with Christine Harper harperc@landcareresearch.co.nz.

The survey aims to:

  • Provide feedback so that New Zealand beekeepers can compare their own experiences with national and international information
  • Explore new insights about potential causes of losses and ways to prevent them
  • Provide an evidence base with accurate facts and data to inform industry and government
  • Form a framework for building a long term picture of annual or seasonal trends in colony losses

Survey Results

The first NZ Colony Loss Survey was completed in 2015 and it was refined and repeated in 2016 and again in 2017. Data is reported by operation size class and by region (for operators with 250+ hives) and is completely anonymous. Survey results are shared with beekeepers and the 2015, 2016 and 2017 survey data is available below.