3.2.2.1. Postal or email survey

Beekeepers receive a questionnaire by mail (or email), answer the questions and return the questionnaire.

Pros:

  • Beekeepers have time to check their apiary notes and to answer the questions fully.
  • Quick distribution of questionnaires for survey organisers and quick return (if emailed).

Cons:

  • A good (complete) list of addresses (email addresses) of the target population of beekeepers is needed. Limited access of beekeepers to the internet can very badly influence the survey coverage if only an email survey is performed.
  • Especially clear questions and instructions are necessary.
  • Beekeepers are not always actively involved and very often they do not respond. Free return postage raises the costs for postal surveys but also beekeepers’ participation in the survey.
  • Reminders are likely to be necessary for a good response rate.
  • The questionnaires may be filled in carelessly with answers missing.
  • The time for and cost of data entry can be high, unless the sample is very small.