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

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36253/ijam-1195

Keywords:

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

Abstract

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

References

Abou-Shaara, H., 2014. The foraging behaviour of honey bees, Apis mellifera: a review. Veterinarni Medicina, 59(1).

Abou-Shaara, H., Owayss, A.A., Ibrahim, Y. and Basuny, N., 2017. A review of impacts of temperature and relative humidity on various activities of honey bees. Insectes Sociaux, 64(4): 455-463.

Aizen, M.A. and Harder, L.D., 2009. The global stock of domesticated honey bees is growing slower than agricultural demand for pollination. Current biology, 19(11): 915-918.

Allen-Wardell, G. et al., 1998. The potential consequences of pollinator declines on the conservation of biodiversity and stability of food crop yields. Conservation biology: 8-17.

Blažytė-Čereškienė, L., Vaitkevičienė, G., Venskutonytė, S. and Būda, V., 2010. Honey bee foraging in spring oilseed rape crops under high ambient temperature conditions. Žemdirb.(Agric.), 97: 61-70.

Burrill, R.M. and Dietz, A., 1981. The response of honey bees to variations in solar radiation and temperature. Apidologie, 12(4): 319-328.

Ciesla, W.M., 2002. Non-wood forest products from temperate broad-leaved trees, 15. Food & Agriculture Org.

Clarke, D. and Robert, D., 2018. Predictive modelling of honey bee foraging activity using local weather conditions. Apidologie, 49(3): 386-396.

Corbet, S.A., 1990. Pollination and the weather. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences, 39(1-2): 13-30.

Crane, E., 1990. Bees and beekeeping: science, practice and world resources. Heinemann Newnes.

Cressey, D., 2014. EU states lose up to one-third of honeybees per year. Nature News.

de Mattos, I., Souza, J. and Soares, A., 2018. Analysis of the effects of climate variables on Apis mellifera pollen foraging performance. Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, 70(4): 1301-1308.

Delgado, D.L., Pérez, M.E., Galindo-Cardona, A., Giray, T. and Restrepo, C., 2012. Forecasting the influence of climate change on agroecosystem services: potential impacts on honey yields in a small-island developing state. Psyche, 2012.

Dimou, M., Tananaki, Ch, Karazaphiris, M, Gounari, S, Mesanagrenos, D, Thrasyvoulou, A, 2002. Rhodes honey-Prospects for the acquisition of the “Geographic origin Label”, 1st Scientific Congress on Apiculture-Sericulture, pp. 77-94.

Doull, K.M., 1976. The effects of different humidities on the hatching of the eggs of honeybees. Apidologie, 7(1): 61-66.

Duffie, J.A. and Beckman, W.A., 1991. Solar engineering of thermal processes John Wiley & Sons. Inc. New York.

Easterling, D.R. et al., 1997. Maximum and minimum temperature trends for the globe. Science, 277(5324): 364-367.

Freitas, B. and Paxton, R., 1996. The role of wind and insects in cashew (Anacardium occidentale) pollination in NE Brazil. JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE-CAMBRIDGE-, 126: 319-326.

Gallai, N., Salles, J.-M., Settele, J. and Vaissière, B.E., 2009. Economic valuation of the vulnerability of world agriculture confronted with pollinator decline. Ecological economics, 68(3): 810-821.

Gerlach, J., 1985. The dependence of honey-bee behaviour on weather—shown by the results of weighing bee-hives in the period of 1969 to 1978 in the region of the Beekeepers Association of Hannover. International journal of biometeorology, 29(1): 67-85.

Gimeno, T.E., Camarero, J.J., Granda, E., Pías, B. and Valladares, F., 2012. Enhanced growth of Juniperus thurifera under a warmer climate is explained by a positive carbon gain under cold and drought. Tree physiology, 32(3): 326-336.

Gordo, O. and Sanz, J.J., 2006. Temporal trends in phenology of the honey bee Apis mellifera (L.) and the small white Pieris rapae (L.) in the Iberian Peninsula (1952–2004). Ecological Entomology, 31(3): 261-268.

Gu, L. et al., 2003. Response of a deciduous forest to the Mount Pinatubo eruption: Enhanced photosynthesis. Science, 299(5615): 2035-2038.

Hargreaves, G. and Samani, Z., 1985. Reference crop evapotranspiration from ambient air temperature. Chicago, Amer. Soc. Agric. Eng. Meeting (Paper 85-2517).

He, X.J., Tian, L.Q., Wu, X.B. and Zeng, Z.J., 2016. RFID monitoring indicates honeybees work harder before a rainy day. Insect science, 23(1): 157-159.

Henneken, R., Helm, S. and Menzel, A., 2012. Meteorological influences on swarm emergence in honey bees (hymenoptera: Apidae) as detected by crowdsourcing. Environmental entomology, 41(6): 1462-1465.

Holmes, W., 2002. The influence of weather on annual yields of honey. The Journal of Agricultural Science, 139(1): 95.

Jones, J.C., Helliwell, P., Beekman, M., Maleszka, R. and Oldroyd, B.P., 2005. The effects of rearing temperature on developmental stability and learning and memory in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Journal of comparative physiology A, 191(12): 1121-1129.

Joshi, N.C. and Joshi, P., 2010. Foraging behaviour of Apis spp. on apple flowers in a subtropical environment. New York Science Journal, 3(3): 71-76.

Kleinhenz, M., Bujok, B., Fuchs, S. and Tautz, J., 2003. Hot bees in empty broodnest cells: heating from within. Journal of Experimental Biology, 206(23): 4217-4231.

Łangowska, A. et al., 2017. Long-term effect of temperature on honey yield and honeybee phenology. International journal of biometeorology, 61(6): 1125-1132.

Le Conte, Y. and Navajas, M., 2008. Climate change: impact on honey bee populations and diseases. Revue Scientifique et Technique-Office International des Epizooties, 27(2): 499-510.

Li, Z. et al., 2016. Drone and worker brood microclimates are regulated differentially in honey bees, Apis mellifera. PloS one, 11(2): e0148740.

Lundie, A.E., 1925. The flight activities of the honeybee. United States Department of Agriculture.

Meikle, W.G., Rector, B.G., Mercadier, G. and Holst, N., 2008. Within-day variation in continuous hive weight data as a measure of honey bee colony activity. Apidologie, 39(6): 694-707.

Morse, R.A. and Calderone, N.W., 2000. The value of honey bees as pollinators of US crops in 2000. Bee culture, 128(3): 1-15.

Nicolson, S.W., 2009. Water homeostasis in bees, with the emphasis on sociality. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212(3): 429-434.

Ohashi, M., Okada, R., Kimura, T. and Ikeno, H., 2009. Observation system for the control of the hive environment by the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Behavior research methods, 41(3): 782-786.

Ortiz-Caraballo, M.A., 2007. Mating system and fecundity of Goetzea elegans (Solanaceae), an endangered tree of Puerto Rico, UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO RIO PIEDRAS.

Petz, M., Stabentheiner, A. and Crailsheim, K., 2004. Respiration of individual honeybee larvae in relation to age and ambient temperature. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 174(7): 511-518.

Polce, C. et al., 2014. Climate‐driven spatial mismatches between British orchards and their pollinators: increased risks of pollination deficits. Global change biology, 20(9): 2815-2828.

Poonyth, D. and Ford, D., 2004. Small Island Developing States: Agricultural Production and Trade, Preferences and Policy, 7. FAO.

Potts, S.G. et al., 2010. Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers. Trends in ecology & evolution, 25(6): 345-353.

Proutsos, N., Liakatas, A. and Alexandris, S., 2019. Ratio of photosynthetically active to total incoming radiation above a Mediterranean deciduous oak forest. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 137(3-4): 2927-2939.

Proutsos, N. and Tigkas, D., 2020. Growth Response of Endemic Black Pine Trees to Meteorological Variations and Drought Episodes in a Mediterranean Region. Atmosphere, 11(6): 554.

Proutsos, N., Tsagari, K., Karetsos, G., Liakatas, A. and Kritikos, T., 2010. Recent temperature trends over mountainous Greece. European Water, 32: 15-23.

Proutsos N., E.K., A. Bourletsikas, A. Solomou, E. V. Avramidou, C. Georgiadis, A.B. Kontogianni, K. Tsagari, 2020. Urban temperature trends in east Mediterranean: The case of Heraklion-Crete. European Water, (in press).

Puškadija, Z. et al., 2007. Influence of weather conditions on honey bee visits (Apis mellifera carnica) during sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) blooming period. Poljoprivreda, 13(1): 230-233.

Ricketts, T.H., Daily, G.C., Ehrlich, P.R. and Michener, C.D., 2004. Economic value of tropical forest to coffee production. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101(34): 12579-12582.

Rocha, H. and Dias, J., 2017. Honey Yield Forecast Using Radial Basis Functions, International Workshop on Machine Learning, Optimization, and Big Data. Springer, pp. 483-495.

Roubik, D.W., 1995. Pollination of cultivated plants in the tropics, 118. Food & Agriculture Org.

Roubik, D.W., 2002. The value of bees to the coffee harvest. Nature, 417(6890): 708-708.

Scheifinger, H., Koch, E. and Winkler, H., 2005. Results of a first look into the Austrian animal phenological records. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 14(2): 203-209.

Southwick, E.E. and Heldmaier, G., 1987. Temperature control in honey bee colonies. Bioscience, 37(6): 395-399.

Southwick, E.E. and Moritz, R.F., 1987. Social control of air ventilation in colonies of honey bees, Apis mellifera. Journal of insect physiology, 33(9): 623-626.

Sparks, T.H. et al., 2010. Advances in the timing of spring cleaning by the honeybee Apis mellifera in Poland. Ecological Entomology, 35(6): 788-791.

Spivak, M., 1992. The relative success of Africanized and European honey-bees over a range of life-zones in Costa Rica. Journal of Applied Ecology: 150-162.

Tan, K., Yang, S., Wang, Z.-W., Radloff, S.E. and Oldroyd, B.P., 2012. Differences in foraging and broodnest temperature in the honey bees Apis cerana and A. mellifera. Apidologie, 43(6): 618-623.

Tanarhte, M., Hadjinicolaou, P. and Lelieveld, J., 2012. Intercomparison of temperature and precipitation data sets based on observations in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 117(D12).

Tetens, O., 1930. Uber einige meteorologische Begriffe. Z. geophys, 6: 297-309.

Thrasyvoulou, A. and Manikis, J., 1995. Some physicochemical and microscopic characteristics of Greek unifloral honeys.

Tsiros, I.X., Nastos, P., Proutsos, N.D. and Tsaousidis, A., 2020. Variability of the aridity index and related drought parameters in Greece using climatological data over the last century (1900–1997). Atmospheric Research, 240: 104914.

UNEP, 1992. World Atlas of Desertification.

VanEngelsdorp, D., Hayes, J., Underwood, R.M. and Pettis, J., 2008. A survey of honey bee colony losses in the US, fall 2007 to spring 2008. PLoS One, 3(12): 1-6.

Vicens, N. and Bosch, J., 2000. Weather-dependent pollinator activity in an apple orchard, with special reference to Osmia cornuta and Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae and Apidae). Environmental entomology, 29(3): 413-420.

Woyke, J., Wilde, J. and Wilde, M., 2003. Flight activity reaction to temperature changes in Apis dorsata, Apis laboriosa and Apis mellifera. Journal of Apicultural Science, 47(2): 73-80.

Downloads

Published

2022-07-19

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. https://doi.org/10.36253/ijam-1195

Issue

Section

RESEARCH ARTICLES