Location: Bee Research LaboratoryTitle: Found in Translation: Weather, your bees live or die
Submitted to: Bee Culture
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/28/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Honey bee colonies, along with humans and the rest of life on Earth, are strongly impacted by the weather. As a species, Apis mellifera has succeeded incredibly well from the tropics to the colder regions of Europe and Asia. With help from their human keepers, honey bees now live across most of the globe, surviving drought conditions, intense rain, and winters that have them sheltering for three fourths of the year. Still, bees and beekeepers are not completely immune from climate impacts, both current and forecasted. Understanding the impacts of climate on forage and bee needs is vital for thoughtful beekeepers as they make decisions about bee movement, provisioning, and parasite control. A recent study shows the value in exploiting high-resolution weather data in order to predict climate impacts on honey bee health and overwinter survival. Thanks to our economic and emotional obsession with the weather, satellites and ground weather stations collect continual data at a fine scale throughout the world. Matthew Switanek and colleagues from the University of Graz in Austria used creative methods to connect weather data to bee colony fates in their recent paper “Modelling seasonal effects of temperature and precipitation on honey bee winter mortality in a temperate climate”, freely available in the journal “Science of the Total Environment”, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.178.