The beekeeper plays a key role in maintaining the health status of managed honey bee colonies and ensuring their productivity. However, a clear overview on the main actions carried out by beekeepers and their role for the successful management of honey bees is only partially addressed. In this study, we aim at providing: i) a generalized conceptual framework for the characterization of the Beekeeping Management Practices carried out by the European beekeepers and ii) the definition of their influence on the overall status of the honey bee colony. Six Beekeeping Management Practices were selected in this study: chemical control; replacement of combs with brood; replacement of combs with feed sources; supplementary feeding; change in the number of workers; beekeeper category and experience. Each Beekeeping Management Practice was characterized in relation to: i) the elements guiding their application, ii) the potential impacts on a honey bee colony and iii) the scenario-based variables that might influence their timing, frequency and/or efficiency. We performed an extensive literature review and an Expert Knowledge Elicitation procedure in order to estimate the uncertainty linked to some major parameters. In this paper, we successfully developed and applied a conceptual framework defining the actions carried out by European beekeepers and quantifying their impacts to a honey bee colony. The conceptual framework might support the definition of realistic scenarios of Beekeeping Management Practices in Europe for the assessment and management of the risks linked to honey bee colonies considering the potential role of the beekeeper.

Beekeeping and honey bee colony health: A review and conceptualization of beekeeping management practices implemented in Europe

Sperandio, Giorgio;Simonetto, Anna;Gilioli, Gianni
2019-01-01

Abstract

The beekeeper plays a key role in maintaining the health status of managed honey bee colonies and ensuring their productivity. However, a clear overview on the main actions carried out by beekeepers and their role for the successful management of honey bees is only partially addressed. In this study, we aim at providing: i) a generalized conceptual framework for the characterization of the Beekeeping Management Practices carried out by the European beekeepers and ii) the definition of their influence on the overall status of the honey bee colony. Six Beekeeping Management Practices were selected in this study: chemical control; replacement of combs with brood; replacement of combs with feed sources; supplementary feeding; change in the number of workers; beekeeper category and experience. Each Beekeeping Management Practice was characterized in relation to: i) the elements guiding their application, ii) the potential impacts on a honey bee colony and iii) the scenario-based variables that might influence their timing, frequency and/or efficiency. We performed an extensive literature review and an Expert Knowledge Elicitation procedure in order to estimate the uncertainty linked to some major parameters. In this paper, we successfully developed and applied a conceptual framework defining the actions carried out by European beekeepers and quantifying their impacts to a honey bee colony. The conceptual framework might support the definition of realistic scenarios of Beekeeping Management Practices in Europe for the assessment and management of the risks linked to honey bee colonies considering the potential role of the beekeeper.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11379/524373
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