My name is Jake Beck, and I am a junior at the University of Miami studying ecosystem science and policy and economics. I am a resident of Volusia County, and a 2013 graduate of Spruce Creek High School. My grandparents started keeping bees several years ago, and I always looked forward to working with the bees each time I would visit. Having read extensively about the issues relating to colony losses across the nation, I began to wonder how this was impacting Florida’s beekeepers. Consequently, this summer I am completing a research project to study trends related to colony loss in beehives throughout Florida, as well as to aim to quantify the economic value of these losses. This project is being supported by the University, and I am working under the mentorship of Dr. Gary Hitchcock, an associate professor of marine science who is a hobbyist beekeeper and member of the Florida State Beekeepers Association.
The goal of this summer project is to use beekeeper survey data to build a better understanding of trends relating to colony loss and occurrence of colony collapse in Florida’s non-commercial colonies. Specific data to be examined includes the relationship between colony loss and location in the state, the economic cost incurred to replace these colonies, the relationship between colony loss and the use of varroacides in beehives, and perceived threats to Florida non-commercial beekeeping. This data will be obtained through anonymous surveys sent by email to each registered beekeeper in the state. The entire survey has been reviewed by various stakeholders before being sent out, including professors at the University of Miami and the University of Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture, the president of the Florida State Beekeeper’s Association, and several professional and hobbyist beekeepers in the state. We want to ensure that the survey will be easy to fill out while providing accurate and complete information for the research project.
The survey is completely anonymous, and it should be noted that all answers provided will be used only in aggregate form when drawing conclusions. If you are uncomfortable answering any questions, please feel free to leave them blank. Your personal information will not be linked to any of this data. Moreover, all personally identifiable data will be destroyed upon the completion of the project and will never be provided to any third parties. The survey will be open until June 29th for responses.
If you would like to participate in this project, here is the link to the survey:
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the research being conducted, the survey itself, or any other aspects of this project. I may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at (386) 383-0874.
Thank you for your interest in this project! I look forward to providing the results of this project to the organization. The hope is that the results of this project will help build an understanding of colony loss trends within Florida, from which future studies may build upon to further the understanding of CCD as a whole.