In 2009 the first survey was sent out to Northern Ireland honey beekeepers to seek data such as the distribution of bee hives and occurrence of specific bee diseases. This was undertaken in conjunction with the National Bee Unit in York, England who did a similar survey for England and Wales.
From 2010 onwards, AFBI have included questions on bee colony losses as part of a European survey compiled by COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes), an international, non-profit association with headquarters in Bern, Switzerland. 2010 was also the first year that an online version of the questionnaire was made available for beekeepers to use on the AFBI website.
Information obtained from the honey bee husbandry survey is reported and sent by AFBI to the DARD bee health inspectorate and the two main Northern Ireland beekeeping groups, the Ulster BeeKeepers Association (UBKA) and the Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers. At the UBKA annual conference, held on the 11th-12th March at Greenmount College, Co. Antrim this year, AFBI was represented by Dr. Archie Murchie and Mr. Ivan Forsythe. The organisers kindly included paper copies of the 2015-2016 Honey bee husbandry survey as part of each attendee welcome pack so it is hoped there will be a record response from all beekeepers.
Notes to editors:
AFBI carries out high-quality technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for DARD and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies.
AFBI's Vision is “Scientific excellence in Northern Ireland … serving the world”.
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