Parameters to record

The type of data to be collected during field experiments will vary depending on the objective of the study. Field studies often involve observing colonies and the development of disease in relation to different treatments or management practices. It is thus advisable to always report on certain standard parameters if possible, for interpretation of the data. Such parameters include:

  • Intra-hive mortality (dead bee traps; see the BEEBOOK paper on miscellaneous methods (Human et al., 2013))
  • Colony size and population dynamics (number of bees and amount of brood, see the BEEBOOK paper on estimating colony strength (Delaplane et al., 2013)
  • Clinical signs of any diseases (see Volume II of the BEEBOOK)
  • Varroa mite infestation (see the BEEBOOK paper on varroa (Dietemann et al., 2013))
  • Honey production
  • Climatic conditions during the experiment
  • Subspecies of honey bees used (see the BEEBOOK paper on characterising subspecies and ecotypes (Meixner et al., 2013))
  • Specific management practices