A Pan-European Epidemiological Study Reveals Honey Bee Colony Survival Depends on Beekeeper Education and Disease Control

Thursday 25 February 2021

When it comes to taking on a new hobby, profession, sport, or anything else, there is always some sort of learning involved. This is especially important for beekeeping since live beings are involved! In the world of beekeeping, this learning and education can come from taking courses, shadowing an experienced beekeeper, or maybe through family knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Keep reading below to learn more about the link between beekeeper education and honey bee colony survival.

Speaking of beekeeper education, ATTTA is excited to announce our 2021 Fundamentals of Beekeeping Program that is being offered this year in collaboration with Dalhousie University Extended Learning! See below for program and registration details.

A Pan-European Epidemiological Study Reveals Honey Bee Colony Survival Depends on Beekeeper Education and Disease Control *

When analyzing honey bee colony failure, there are many causative and associated factors considered, however, beekeeper knowledge and management practices are often not included in these analyses. A recent study aims to provide a better understanding of the impacts of these previously overlooked factors on honey bee colony survival. The results of this study suggested that, “hobbyist beekeepers with small apiaries and little experience in beekeeping had double the winter mortality rate when compared to professional beekeepers.” * Variables taken into consideration were related to the individual beekeeper details, operation type, operation scale, honey bee race and source, disease state, previous mortality and infection, and surrounding landscape. Factors associated with operations having the lowest losses and diseases included:

  •           participation in beekeeping training within the past 3 years
  •           keeping records through use of an apiarist book
  •           possession of a beekeeping qualification
  •           membership in a beekeeping-related organization
  •           years of beekeeping experience

From the results revealed in this study, the authors conclude with the following statements:
“Our results show that the main factors protecting honey bee colonies are beekeeper background and practices. More efforts are needed in beekeeper training to promote good beekeeping practices and achieve early identification of clinical signs of disease.” *

* Jacques A., Laurent M., EPILOBEE Consortium, Ribière-Chabert M., Saussac M., et al. (2017). A pan-European epidemiological study reveals honey bee colony survival depends on beekeeper education and disease control, PLOS ONE. Full text available online.

Fundamentals of Beekeeping – 2021 Online Beekeeper Training!

We are excited to announce the 2021 Fundamentals of Beekeeping program presented by ATTTA and Dalhousie Extended Learning! This 4-course certificate program is designed for beekeepers who are interested in becoming serious hobbyists and/or interested in moving towards becoming commercial beekeepers. The program courses include training that will precede the seasonal beekeeping events of the year so that you will be confident and prepared to take on the upcoming beekeeping tasks!

Fundamentals of Beekeeping program courses and dates:

Course 1 – The Very Beeginnings: March 23rd – 27th

Course 2 – Working Bees & Hive Health: May 11th – 15th

Course 3 – Post-Pollination: Propagation and Products: July 13th – 17th

Course 4 – Season Wrap-Up & Business Growth: September 7th – 11th

Registration is open now and space is limited!

Program and course details, along with registration information can be found on the Dalhousie University program registration website.

Connecting with ATTTA Specialists

If you’d like to connect with ATTTA specialists or learn more about our program, you can: