On which factors does the overwintering success of bee colonies depend? How many bees do not survive the winter’s cold?

bee, winter, colony

The project overview

Area of Science: Natural Sciences
Location: Austria
Used Devices: without PC/Mobile, with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: Bee colony
Activities of citizen scientists: sharing ideas, measuring, analysing
Suitable for: Adults
Project duration: 01.03.2017 - 31.05.2017
Time to join in: 01.04.2017 - 31.05.2017
Project website:

Project objective

25,000 beekeepers in Austria keep approximately 370,000 honeybee colonies. Each winter a different percentage of these colonies die. The researchers of the Department of Zoology of the University of Graz want to know how many colonies die, what the risk factors are and how these colony losses can be reduced.

How to participate?

Beekeepers and local and regional associations are invited to take part in the study and to contribute to the preservation of the honeybee population in Austria by providing information about how they keep their bees and the overwintering success of their bee colonies. Citizen scientists can find information about the previous results in the database, they can make their own analyses and share them in social networks.

What happens to the contributions of citizen scientists?

The beekeepers’ contributions are analysed according to internationally established scientific standards and put at the disposal of interested persons by means of scientific publications, press releases and of course on the project website and the database. The research results contribute to new findings about winter losses of bee colonies and are to contribute to reducing future losses by means of an identification of best practice methods.

Prizes and winners

The winners of the project will be awarded prizes in kind from the University of Graz at the festive event on November 21st, 2017. The winners will be chosen by means of a tombola of all non-anonymous submissions. Moreover, experts will hold an evening presentation for the local group or district group with the highest number of submissions.

Participating and supporting institutions


Dr. Robert Brodschneider

Project website:

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