Journal of Apicultural Research
Beekeeping under climate change
Peter Neumann and Lars Straub,
Institute of Bee Health, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; b Faculty of Science, Energy and Environment, King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, Rayong, Thailand; c Centre for Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour, Department of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK
ABSTRACT There is consensus that climate change is one of the grand challenges facing humanity in the twenty first century, inevitably the most confided and undeniably one of the most pressing. Profound effects are inevitable in global agriculture, and beekeeping is certainly no exemption. Indeed, extreme weather and natural disasters have already had an impact on honey bees. Thus, it appears evident that climate change will constitute a key stress factor for managed bees and beekeepers alike contributing to increased colony losses and reduced income. Here, we review the literature on the impact of climate change on honey bees and beekeeping. Based on the literature, it is evident that at present there is no inclusive strategy for beekeeping to adequately deal with the challenges global climate change will bring. Here, we call for such a strategy and briefly list the main challenges for future beekeeping due to a changing climate as well as suggest possible countermeasures. Ultimately, the impact of climate change and its mitigation are at present insufficiently understood in the beekeeping context. This calls for respective concerted efforts of scientists, beekeepers, and other stakeholders to find a sustainable future for beekeeping. Such efforts will inevitably require evidence-based mitigation measures to deal with the increasing global impact of climate change.
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