The BBKA's winter survival survey for winter 2014 showed losses across the UK of 14.5% with losses of 15.5% for the North East where most of our Bee Cosy sales have been made.
As for winter 2012 and 2013, we surveyed all Bee Cosy users on the same basis as BBKA - i.e. colonies in place at 31 March. Although our sample is not large as the BBKA, we achieved a fantastic 98% survival rate from all the beekeepers who responded using a total of 40 Bee Cosies.
As you recall, the winter of 2014 was not as bad as forecast. Bad weather was confined to fog and icy roads in December, storms and strong winds in January, and some snow in early February. The Met Office’s statistical summary showed that, across the UK, “the average winter temperature was 0.2 degrees higher than usual for 1981-2010. There were 25% more hours of sunshine than usual, and slightly less than the usual 33 days of air frost ” Despite 2014 being a mild winter, BBKA statistics showed that UK colony losses still increased to 14.5% from 9.6%.
As seen in the graph below, with 3 years of survey results now in, the Bee Cosy does seem to be making a difference. Whilst there may be a small positive bias in these results in that the Bee Cosy may attract a more assiduous beekeeper, there is also an element of negative bias in that beekeepers may be choosing to put Bee Cosies on their weaker hives.
Overall, I believe the results show a good case for the merits of the Bee Cosy.