Bee keepers interview
After the issues that were raised (that you can see in the section Integrated human practice), we decided to gave surveys to bee keepers across France who worked between 2 and 45 years and carry between 5 and more than 400 beehives. For a total of 37 participants
We were obviously interested in how many professional and amateurish beekeepers answered our survey. On the 37 participants we got 22 were amateurish beekeepers and 15 were professionals.
We found that more than 59% of them are concerned by the phenomenon of colony collapse disorder.
We also saw that 69% of them had no prevention system and 22% of them are not satisfied by their current prevention system.
We then asked them if our detection system may be useful to detect pesticids, pathogens or parasites and heavy metals.
32/37 beekeepers were interested to have a system able to detect pesticids and 33/37 were interested having a system able to detect pathogens.
However, when asking what are they thought would be the solution to the problem of CCD, the opinions are divided. Out of the 9 beekeepers that answered this questions, 7 were professionals whereas 2 were amateurs beekeepers. The 7 professionals asked about a system that would be able to rapidly quantify pathogens. The 2 amateurs were asking for a solution about pesticides. The number of answers is not representative and doesn't allow us to conclude. But it is interesting to notice that out of the 15 professionnals beekeepers, 60% of them answered that question, whereas only 9% on the amateurs beekeepers answered it, with 7 more representent on the amateurs side.As you can see in the following figure, more than 80% of bee keepers interviewed are interested by our system.
When we asked how frequent they would use our system, most of them said they would use it at least every month, while others only between seasons.
Bee keepers found this project interesting but we also wanted to confront the researchers on the subject to get more scientific data.
The meetings with researchers allowed us to get more insight on the real problems underlying the death of the bees
Those researchers were specialized on different aspect of bees : pathology, agronomy, chemistry, environment and agro ecology.
However, despite the fact that we send the same number of survey between Beekeepers and researchers, only 6 of them answered us back. Showing, maybe, a lack on interest in the subject. For the Bee Subtilis Project, we asked whether the parameters we decided to detect were useful. Here are the results:
We wondered which parameters they believed we should use in our detection system. Several answers were offered:
- ➟ Food Availability
- ➟ Presence of Virus or Parasites (Nosema for instance)
- ➟ Heat Stress
When we asked if they would find any use of this test on their research project:
33% of them said they could use it once a month for research
So it seems our project could be very interesting as a control of the health state of the beehive.
Yet we have still a long way to go before improving the detection target list. However, we think that our project was head in the right direction concerning the demand beekeepers (and researchers) might have. We obtain good informations with our survey : It seems that amateurs beekeepers really think that the main cause of CCD, and the main factor we should work about are pesticides. In contrary, professionals beekeepers seems to think that the main problem is pathogens, confirming that the actual problem behind CCD might be a lack of knowledge from beekeepers. This problem could be aggravated by the fact that researchers doesn't communicate with beekeepers. Sadly, the numbers we obtain wasn't high enough to be significant, and we just can put supposition.