Research paper: A New Approach to Inform Restoration and Management Decisions for Sustainable Apiculture

CRC researcher Joanne Picknoll has published her first paper on her model in Sustainability with coauthors Pieter Poot and Michael Renton. We’re very proud of Joanne for reaching this milestone in her research.

Abstract

Habitat loss has reduced the available resources for apiarists and is a key driver of poor colony health, colony loss, and reduced honey yields. The biggest challenge for apiarists in the future will be meeting increasing demands for pollination services, honey, and other bee products with limited resources. Targeted landscape restoration focusing on high-value or high-yielding forage could ensure adequate floral resources are available to sustain the growing industry. Tools are currently needed to evaluate the likely productivity of potential sites for restoration and inform decisions about plant selections and arrangements and hive stocking rates, movements, and placements. We propose a new approach for designing sites for apiculture, centred on a model of honey production that predicts how changes to plant and hive decisions affect the resource supply, potential for bees to collect resources, consumption of resources by the colonies, and subsequently, amount of honey that may be produced. The proposed model is discussed with reference to existing models, and data input requirements are discussed with reference to an Australian case study area. We conclude that no existing model exactly meets the requirements of our proposed approach, but components of several existing models could be combined to achieve these needs.