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30% loss, is it real?

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jimbeekeeper 

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Martin Smith (BBKA ) was on breakfast news talking the usual stuff, but one comment he made about 30% losses did not add up!

Yes if I loose X colonies that is X% loss, but even in last years poor season I went from a 20% loss to 70% gain through expansion.

He suggested that the 30% loss is accumulative and made no mention of increasing stocks back, which implied that 30% year on year loss = 4 years and all hives gone! Which is wrong.

Does my theory stack up with you?
 

Mission 

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Actually - yes it does.

I lost 1 hive in 3, due to the queen expiring. Yet this year I have plans to expand out to 10 hives. So I will see a net gain of 8 hives.

33.33% loss on 2008.
80% gain in 2009.

You just made me feel so much better about my 1 loss Jim!!

Jay
 

Chris B 

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Quite right Jim.
Personally I don't doubt the 30% winter loss figures, but the implication that it represents an annual cumulative loss is what you might call "spin". I lost 33% of my bees last winter but still had a small net gain over a 12 month period, and this winter my losses will be back down to "normal" levels.
I suspect that unless winter losses get above 50%, then the bee population will be more closely linked to the number of beekeepers, who are actually increasing in number. The government understand this and this is why I think it's likely they'll go for compulsory registration before too long, so they can prove that the overall bee population is not crashing, and get themselves off the hook.
The whole situation is perverse. BBKA are playing a high risk game by putting so much emphasis on winter losses and the "declining" bee population. The truth is the population is probably increasing because beekeepers are making splits to accomodate the new demand and to replenish their own losses. This is one angle the NAO have failed to pick up on as far as I can see.
 

Finman 

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The truth is the population is probably increasing because beekeepers are making splits to accomodate the new demand and to replenish their own losses. .
At least in our country hives are now 3 fold bigger than 40 years ago.
The reason is that they do not swarm so easily like in good old times.
 

Hombre 

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Thanks for the URL jimbeekeeper. It must be worse than we thought though. If you don't believe me listen to the expert, Dr Eric Mussen, in the first video clip. titled "Putting the varroa mite under the microscope", "... it's 8 pairs of walking legs and they can travel pretty fast". WOW that's scarey. I bet when he realised, that he was hoping that no one would notice.
So is this more inadvertent massaging of the figures. :toetap05:
 
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jimbeekeeper 

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My figures for 30% year on year loss are not quite right, but you get the picture.
In reality starting with 10 hives =
10.0
7.0
4.9
3.4
2.4
1.7
1.2
0.8



starting with 100 hives =
100.0
70.0
49.0
34.3
24.0
16.8
11.8
8.2
5.8
4.0
2.8
2.0
1.4
1.0
0.7


We know we can not have 0. of a hive so I stoped when the figure went below 1 which has to be = to zero.
 
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