Those of you who keep an eye on the BBC’s Scottish news pages may have noticed an article that appeared today about losses to Scottish honey bee colonies. This article is based on the findings of the latest survey of beekeepers in Scotland, and two of our colleagues — Dr Alison Gray and Mr Magnus Peterson — are given their due credit for the work.
This survey is the latest instalment of a project that has been running since 2006 with the support of the Scottish Beekeepers’ Association, and has built up a crucial set of data on the fate of the bee population. Further details are available on Dr Gray’s web page. The fate of bees isn’t of interest only to a few enthusiasts: because so many plants rely on bees as pollinators, a healthy bee population can be crucial to food security. And, as with so many other complex and important issues, getting hold of good quality data is a vital first step for those whose job is to understand and mitigate the problems.
It’s good to be reminded that statisticians — and our colleagues in particular — are making yet another of their vital but often invisible contributions to society and to science…
Update: the full press release was reproduced by several media outlets, and can be found, for example, here. The STV coverage, which also follows the press release closely but links to other stories, can be found here.