Want to know more about the Honey Bee Health Research Questionnaire?

This information for participants is to allow continued informed decision making ability about participating in this research.

A BIG thank you to thank you to participating Ontario Beekeepers!

The survey has now closed.

Please check back soon for results.

About the researchers, and the research

The “Healthy Bees Buzz” research team is comprised of beekeepers, University of Guelph faculty and provincial and federal experts in apiculture, honey bee health, epidemiology and toxicology. The principal researchers include Dr. Jeff Wilson, Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton and Alessia Guthrie.

Dr. Wilson, Adjunct Professor at the University of Guelph and President of Novometrix Research Inc., has 25 years’ experience in the field of Epidemiology and animal health research. Dr. Jones-Bitton is a veterinarian, epidemiologist and Associate Professor at the University of Guelph. Ms. Guthrie is a PhD student in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph, and Project Management Consultant at Novometrix Research Inc.

If you have any questions about the research, and/or your role as a participant, please feel free to contact Ms. Guthrie at healthybeesbuzz@gmail.com.

The information being collected as part of this research will be communicated to stakeholders through reports to Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and presentations at beekeeper meetings in the Spring of 2016.

Funding for this research is generously provided by the OMAFRA New Directions Program.

Survey Overview

The survey is intended for Ontario beekeepers who kept bees in 2014. You will be asked questions relating to health and management of your bees. We ask that you provide information which is supported by your records wherever possible. This survey relates to the 2014 season, unless otherwise specified. You will be asked in some instances to provide dates to correspond with occurring events (e.g. date(s) of honey harvest(s)). Please be as accurate as possible. Information about the location of your bee yard(s) will also be requested. This is voluntary but we ask that you consider providing this information as it will be extremely helpful in allowing us to identify if external factors (such as weather, nearby crops in this region) may be influencing the health of your bees. You may also choose to opt-in to receive further communications regarding future studies and / or sharing of research results. Your personal information, if you choose to provide it, will be kept physically separate from your survey responses.

Information Security

All information collected will be encrypted, maintained in password protected files, and stored in a secure location. Every step will be taken to keep your information secure, however, please note that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed while data are in transit over the Internet.

Your Role as a Participant

By completing this survey you will help us identify the true current state of honey bee health in Ontario. With this information, and other data we gather, we aim to identify how management factors, weather, forage distribution and external pressures (e.g. diseases and pesticide use) interrelate to impact honey bee health and productivity. There are no known risks to your participation in this study. Participation in this study is voluntary. If you have already completed and submitted the survey, you can change your mind about participating at any time during the study by contacting Alessia Guthrie (healthybeesbuzz@gmail.com). Please note however, your data can only be identified and removed if you choose to provide a form of personal information (email or phone number) in order to identify your responses. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact the Director, Research Ethics, (519) 824-4120; reb@uoguelph.ca

Gifts and Prizes

If you are eligible (an Ontario beekeeper who kept honey bees in 2014), and complete this survey, you will be entered into a draw to receive a chance to win one of two $250 gift certificates (to the beekeeping supply store of your choice) in appreciation. Chances of winning one of the draw prizes are approximately 1 in 150 – but this number is subject to change depending on total number of participants. In addition, the first 100 eligible participants to complete this survey will receive a $10 Tim Hortons gift card.

Time Commitment and Study Benefits

The survey should take about 30-40 minutes for average sized operations, potentially more time for larger operations. It can be completed in more than one sitting if you wish (please note this will only work if you are using the same computer and browser with cookies enabled). We recognize that this is a significant commitment for you and that you have many demands on your time. We urge you to participate because collection of this kind of information from beekeepers (of all size operations) is critical to determining the causes of high colony losses, and developing effective practical approaches to help reduce this. Your help will benefit honey bees, and the industry as a whole.

Many thanks again for helping to MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR HONEY BEE HEALTH!