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The apiary influence range: A new paradigm for managing the cohabitation of honey bees and wild bee communities

Mickaël Henry 1, * Guy Rodet 1
* Corresponding author
Abstract : There is an emerging controversy among bee biologists, land managers and beekeepers about the legitimacy of high-density beekeeping in natural protected areas due to the risks of detrimental interactions with local wild bees. The conflicting needs of wild bee conservation and productive beekeeping requires the adoption of inclusive conservation measures. The distance-based beekeeping regulation is a relevant candidate approach in that respect. It consists in increasing spacings among neighbouring apiaries so as to reduce the proportion of land cover under detrimental competition for floral resources. This approach stems from the concept of Apiary Influence Range (AIR), i.e. the distance range around apiaries within which measurements of native plant-pollinators interactions are significantly altered. The seminal study on this topic reported AIRs spanning distances of 0.6–1.1 km around apiaries. The objective of this study is to provide conservation biologists and practitioners with a roadmap to manage the coexistence between productive beekeeping and wild bee conservation, along with a formalised terminology. We first introduce the key theoretical ideas linked with the AIR. Then, we develop the associated calculation rationale to help land managers achieve their wild bee protection goals. Finally, we further provide original AIR values complementary to those available in recent literature. We believe the distance-based beekeeping regulation is in practice more tractable than setting maximal honey bee colony density rules. It may contribute to guide bee biologists and conservation practitioners towards successful inclusive bee conservation, providing the approach can be supported by a broader range of trials in various environmental contexts and using standardised terminology.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 4:58:38 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 13, 2020 - 3:09:13 AM




Mickaël Henry, Guy Rodet. The apiary influence range: A new paradigm for managing the cohabitation of honey bees and wild bee communities. Acta Oecologica, Elsevier, 2020, 105, pp.103555. ⟨10.1016/j.actao.2020.103555⟩. ⟨hal-02914825⟩



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