Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes
About the project
The colony loss monitoring group has been active since the start of the COLOSS COST action, now the COLOSS Association, to study reasons for colony losses. Participating countries each carry out an annual survey of beekeepers by questionnaire, with the aim of collecting information from a nationally representative sample of beekeepers. This makes it possible to compare colony loss rates between countries and to use the international data collected to understand better the distribution of colony losses. To enable proper comparisons, a standardised beekeeper questionnaire was developed and is updated each year by the group for use by each country. About 30 countries currently participate in monitoring. At the individual level, many thousands of beekeepers take part each year. This is an example of citizen science/crowdsourcing, with the voluntary participation of many beekeepers enabling much wider scale data collection than would otherwise be possible. Participating countries return their data for analysis annually before an agreed deadline, usually 1st of July, and the results are used for press releases and scientific publications. We produce jointly authored journal papers for dissemination of results to the research community. In Belgium a number of institutions have historically participated to the collection of winter mortality data, including the FAB-BBF (Federation Apicole Belge - Belgische Bijenhoudersfederatie), CARI, HoneybeeValley, CRA-Wallonie, and the Université de Liege. More information of the global project here.