How does weather impact on beehive productivity in a Mediterranean island?




temperature, vapor pressure, DTR, VPD, relative humidity, weather, beehive productivity, Greece, Mediterranean island


Bee productivity is an essential factor affecting, not only the production of honey or other beehive products but also food security due to the very important role of bees as pollinators. The behavior of the bees and thus their productivity is highly affected by the weather fluctuations. In the present study, five years (2015-2019) of beehive weight data were analyzedto assess the impact of the prevailing weather conditions at an east Mediterranean island, on the productivity of bees. The results indicate that temperature and water-related parameters, significantly affect beehive productivity. Specifically, temperature optimum values of 17oC in spring and 26oC in summer, are associated with higher daily relative changes of the beehive weight, while bee productivity enhances at daily temperatures between 14 and 28oC, presenting negative values beyond this range. The effects of temperature, windspeed, diurnal temperature range, vapor pressure deficit, saturation vapor pressure, and the duration of hot and dry periods, on beehive productivity are strong and negative, whereas the effect of relative humidity is also significant but positive. The results of the study enhance the knowledge of the weather impacts on beehive production especially under the climatic conditions of a small east Mediterranean island, with applications in beekeepers scheduling and hive designing, to maximize beehive productivity.

Author Biographies

Sofia Gounari, Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DEMETER”

Principal Researcher, Apiculture

Nikolaos Proutsos, Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DEMETER”

Associate Researcher, Forest Micrometeorology and Climate Change

Georgios Goras, Faculty of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens

Associate Professor, Lab of Apiculture


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How to Cite

Gounari, S., Proutsos, N., & Goras, G. (2022). How does weather impact on beehive productivity in a Mediterranean island?. Italian Journal of Agrometeorology, (1), 65–81.