Honeybee husbandry survey winter 08/09

Date published: 01 January 2009

A questionnaire-based survey of beekeeping husbandry issues was conducted in spring 2009. Ninety-four responses were received from beekeepers. The average experience of beekeepers was almost 15 years but the mode (or most typical response) was 2 years. The majority of beekeepers (77%) kept their colonies in one locality and did not move them. Most beekeepers are in Down and Antrim (66% of responses) and typically, the beekeepers surveyed had 3-5 hives.


  • The overall average colony loss during the winter of 2008/2009 for Northern Ireland was 23%, although 43% of beekeepers reported no losses.
  • The main perceived cause of colony loss was queen problems.