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Other research product . Article . 2021

Mapping Priority Areas for Apiculture Development with the Use of Geographical Information Systems

Simeon Marnasidis; Apostolos Kantartzis; Chrisovalantis Malesios; Fani Hatjina; Garyfallos Arabatzis; Efstathia Verikouki;
Open Access
Published: 23 Feb 2021 Journal: Agriculture, volume 11, issue 182 (issn: 2077-0472, Copyright policy )
Publisher: MDPI AG

Supporting local and central authorities in decision-making processes pertaining to environmental planning requires the adoption of scientific methods and the submission of proposals that could be implemented in practice. Taking into consideration the dual role that honeybees play as honey producers and crop pollinators, the aim of the present study is to identify and utilize a number of indicators and subsequently develop priority thematic maps. Previous research has focused on the determination of, and, on certain occasions, on mapping, priority areas for apiculture development, based mainly on the needs of honeybees, without taking into consideration the pollination needs of crops that are cultivated in these areas. In addition, research so far has been carried out in specific spatial entities, in contrast to the current study, in which the areas to be comparatively assessed are pre-chosen based on their geographical boundaries. The information derived from this process is expected to help decision-makers in local and regional authorities to adopt measures for optimal land use and sound pollination practices in order to enhance apiculture development at a local scale. To achieve this target, the study incorporates literature about the attractiveness of crops and plants to pollinating honeybees as well as the pollination services provided by honeybees, in combination with detailed vegetative land cover data. The local communities of each municipality were comparatively evaluated, by introducing three indicators through numerical and spatial data analysis: Relative Attractiveness Index (RAI), Relative Dependence Index (RDI), and Relative Priority Index (RPI). Based on these indicators, attractiveness, dependence, and priority maps were created and explained in detail. We suggest that a number of improvement measures that will boost pollination or honey production or both should be taken by decision-makers, based on the correlations between the aforementioned indicators and the exanimated areas. In addition, dependence maps can constitute a powerful tool for raising awareness among both the public and the farmers about the value of honeybees in pollination, thus reinforcing bee protection efforts undertaken globally. Attractiveness maps that provide a thorough picture of the areas that are sources of pollen and nectar can serve as a general guide for the establishment of hives in areas with high potential for beekeeping.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Library of Congress Subject Headings: lcsh:Agriculture (General) lcsh:S1-972

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Pollination Geography Beekeeping Environmental planning Pollinator Spatial analysis Attractiveness Land cover Information system Land use


apiculture development indicators, honeybee pollination, GIS mapping, Plant Science, Agronomy and Crop Science, Food Science

Related to Research communities
Rural Digital Europe