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HiveScience: Data Collection

We need data from beekeepers to help us learn how to better protect honey bees.  Please follow the instructions provided in the section below when using the HiveScience app to collect and report data on your hive. To identify possible linkages between your hive health assessment and colony survival, we need you to only collect data from one hive in your apiary and to always monitor the same hive.

Step 1: Assess the health of your hive

  • To ensure that you always monitor the same hive, please mark the hive you selected for the project with a number or other unique marking to differentiate it from other hives in your apiary.
  • Using the HiveScience app, report on the health status of your honey bee hive as often as you want.

Step 2: Monitor Varroa mites in your hive

Varroa mites are one of the biggest threats to the health of your honey bee hive.  Failure to properly manage Varroa mites puts your hive at great risk of failure and also the hives of other beekeepers in your area.

  • Monitor Varroa mites in the hive you selected for this project using the powdered sugar shake method (Sugar shake method video)Exit.
  • You can count Varroa mites as many times as you like during the beekeeping season, but  only report mite count data from the same hive.
  • Review the Tools for Varroa Management (pdf) (27pp, 4.5MB)EXIT
  • If your hive requires treatment for Varroa mites, please apply integrated pest management practices. Cycling the type of mite treatments you use will decrease the likelihood Varroa mites will develop resistance to available products.
  • If you treated your hive for Varroa mites, evaluate treatment effectiveness by repeating the mite counting procedure one week post-treatment.  

Step 3: Collect a sample of honey for analysis

  • Request your honey sampling kit by contacting the HiveScience Team. Please note, HiveScience is in a pilot phase and, for that reason, we may limit the number of honey samples we analyze to reflect the goals and status of the project.
  • Follow the honey sample collection instructions to collect a honey sample during your pre-winter prep.  For your convenience, a copy will be also be included in the honey sampling kit.
  • The data and samples you collect are very valuable to us.  To maximize the value of your contributions, please send the sample of honey the EPA using the return instructions provided with the honey sampling kit.

Step 4: Inspect your colony in the spring

  • Using the HiveScience app, tell us if your hive survived winter.

Step 5: Learn about Varroa mite infestations in your area

Your data is not only valuable to the EPA, it is also valuable to your local beekeeping community.    Use our real-time map to monitor developing Varroa mite infestations in your area; these data may help you better protect your hives from Varroa mites.

Questions about the HiveScience project?  Contact the HiveScience Team.