Possibilities for implementing the C.S.I. Pollen project in Scotland

Gray, Alison and Peterson, Magnus (2014) Possibilities for implementing the C.S.I. Pollen project in Scotland. In: The C.S.I. Pollen Workshop, 2014-02-06 - 2014-02-07.

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Abstract

Monitoring surveys have been carried out in Scotland since 2006. From 2006 to 2012 these were postal surveys. Random selection of the survey sample has been used since 2008. In 2013 the survey was mostly carried out online, using LimeSurvey (http://www.limesurvey.org/), making use of email contact addresses in the membership records of the Scottish Beekeepers’ Association (SBA). Typically about 85% of the participants voluntarily provide contact details, some including email contacts, as part of their survey return, indicating that they are willing to be contacted to provide follow-up information. Therefore one possibility is to combine the details of these participants from the various surveys, to remove any duplicates and any stated non-beekeepers, check that the resulting beekeepers are still SBA members and still beekeepers, contact those remaining on the list and invite participation for those with pollen traps or who are prepared to acquire one. This may well not provide a very large sample, but would enable linking of pollen diversity to loss rates. Linking the CSI Pollen data collection to a single annual sample may not be successful as random selection may well not include those with pollen traps. As good geographical coverage is more important for a picture of pollen diversity than random selection, for estimation of biodiversity alone, two other possibilities are to publish an invitation to participate online and in the SBA publication for beekeepers, or to make use of local associations to recruit participants for better coverage of Scotland. This last option is the most likely to enable mapping of the number of pollen sources to postcodes. We are investigating recoding of the existing forage data from past surveys to obtain the number of forage sources to relate that to colony losses, however the stated number of sources in questionnaire data is likely to be unreliable owing to variation in keenness of observation of the beekeeper of their bees and their environment. We will briefly discuss these matters and known forage sources in Scotland.