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Weight Watching and the Effect of Landscape on Honeybee Colony Productivity: Investigating the Value of Colony Weight Monitoring for the Beekeeping Industry.

Lecocq A, Kryger P, Vejsnæs F, Bruun Jensen A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Over the last few decades, a gradual departure away from traditional agricultural practices has resulted in alterations to the composition of the countryside and landscapes across Europe.Once this was carried out, we were able to show that colonies situated in landscapes composed of more than 50% urban areas were significantly more productive than colonies situated in those with more than 50% agricultural areas or those in mixed areas.As well as exploring some of the potential reasons for the observed differences, we discuss the value of weight monitoring of colonies on a large scale.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Copenhagen, Department of Plants and Environmental Sciences-PLEN, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
Over the last few decades, a gradual departure away from traditional agricultural practices has resulted in alterations to the composition of the countryside and landscapes across Europe. In the face of such changes, monitoring the development and productivity of honey bee colonies from different sites can give valuable insight on the influence of landscape on their productivity and might point towards future directions for modernized beekeeping practices. Using data on honeybee colony weights provided by electronic scales spread across Denmark, we investigated the effect of the immediate landscape on colony productivity. In order to extract meaningful information, data manipulation was necessary prior to analysis as a result of different management regimes or scales malfunction. Once this was carried out, we were able to show that colonies situated in landscapes composed of more than 50% urban areas were significantly more productive than colonies situated in those with more than 50% agricultural areas or those in mixed areas. As well as exploring some of the potential reasons for the observed differences, we discuss the value of weight monitoring of colonies on a large scale.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Average monthly hive weights, in kg, for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
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pone.0132473.g004: Average monthly hive weights, in kg, for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Mentions: The monthly average weights showed that the year 2012 was marked by normal average weights in winter and spring but which became lower than in the other years from June onwards (Fig 4). The changes in weight of the hives, from one day to the next, provided us with information regarding the food collection rate or foraging potential (available forage) of bees in productive months of the year, or the consumption rate of colonies during the non-productive months of the year. During the year 2012, colonies were consuming as many resources in winter as those in 2010, 2011, and 2013, and gaining as much weight in early spring. However, this was followed by an average weight loss in June and a shorter productive summer period overall (Fig 5).


Weight Watching and the Effect of Landscape on Honeybee Colony Productivity: Investigating the Value of Colony Weight Monitoring for the Beekeeping Industry.

Lecocq A, Kryger P, Vejsnæs F, Bruun Jensen A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Average monthly hive weights, in kg, for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493132&req=5

pone.0132473.g004: Average monthly hive weights, in kg, for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Mentions: The monthly average weights showed that the year 2012 was marked by normal average weights in winter and spring but which became lower than in the other years from June onwards (Fig 4). The changes in weight of the hives, from one day to the next, provided us with information regarding the food collection rate or foraging potential (available forage) of bees in productive months of the year, or the consumption rate of colonies during the non-productive months of the year. During the year 2012, colonies were consuming as many resources in winter as those in 2010, 2011, and 2013, and gaining as much weight in early spring. However, this was followed by an average weight loss in June and a shorter productive summer period overall (Fig 5).

Bottom Line: Over the last few decades, a gradual departure away from traditional agricultural practices has resulted in alterations to the composition of the countryside and landscapes across Europe.Once this was carried out, we were able to show that colonies situated in landscapes composed of more than 50% urban areas were significantly more productive than colonies situated in those with more than 50% agricultural areas or those in mixed areas.As well as exploring some of the potential reasons for the observed differences, we discuss the value of weight monitoring of colonies on a large scale.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Copenhagen, Department of Plants and Environmental Sciences-PLEN, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
Over the last few decades, a gradual departure away from traditional agricultural practices has resulted in alterations to the composition of the countryside and landscapes across Europe. In the face of such changes, monitoring the development and productivity of honey bee colonies from different sites can give valuable insight on the influence of landscape on their productivity and might point towards future directions for modernized beekeeping practices. Using data on honeybee colony weights provided by electronic scales spread across Denmark, we investigated the effect of the immediate landscape on colony productivity. In order to extract meaningful information, data manipulation was necessary prior to analysis as a result of different management regimes or scales malfunction. Once this was carried out, we were able to show that colonies situated in landscapes composed of more than 50% urban areas were significantly more productive than colonies situated in those with more than 50% agricultural areas or those in mixed areas. As well as exploring some of the potential reasons for the observed differences, we discuss the value of weight monitoring of colonies on a large scale.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus