6.3. Availability of a sampling frame

In some countries, a substantial number of hobbyist beekeepers may choose not to belong to any kind of association of beekeepers or to be registered on an official list of beekeepers, meaning that there can never be 100% coverage in any list used as a sampling frame. Personal knowledge of some of these beekeepers may enable survey organisers to extend their sampling frame, however the possibilities for this are likely to be very limited. If such independent, unregistered beekeepers form a significant proportion of the beekeepers in a country, then it will be virtually impossible to obtain for that country a truly representative sample of beekeepers. To make matters worse, it is difficult to determine how many such unregistered beekeepers there are. This may be a cause of biased survey results, if the beekeeping experience and loss rates of non-registered beekeepers are likely to be systematically different from those that are registered.