Safeguarding agroecosystem resilience under climate change through efficient pollination and sustainable beekeeping

The  Mediterranean  Basin  is  an  area  characterised  by  diverse agricultural management systems as  well as climate  differences  from  very  dry  and  hot  to very humid  and  cold  areas. Climate change among other stressors threatens wild pollinators, influencing the complexity and stability of pollinators’ community. Preserving  the  landscape  structure,  the  resilience  of  bees  and  other pollinators  and promoting sustainable beekeeping practices are important elements  for re-designing the  agroecosystem.  By  testing  the  adaptability of local populations we will be able to provide robust recommendations and to ensure or increase the resilience of the agroecosystems, while reducing colony losses. It is  our aim to evaluate farming strategies  that foresee  the  presence  and  the  interactions among Apis and  non-Apis bees  in  order  to  increase  crop productivity.  We are assessing the landscape pollination demand, and pollination supply provided by both managed and unmanaged bees. We will address these topics by assessing the pollination services provided by both Apis and non-Apis bees on different crops considering scenarios linked to climate, landscape structure and complexity. Resilient  ‘agro-ecological  systems’  will  be ensured  considering  both  the  beekeepers’ and  the  farmers’  perspective.

Concept and methodology


The overall objective of SafeAgroBee is to contribute to adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change and other drivers negatively influencing the sustainability and the resilience of the agroecosystems in the Mediterranean basin, ensuring the income of farmers and food security. In SafeAgroBee we focus on beekeeping and on pollination services provided by both Apis and non-Apis bees as important drivers in ruling food security, biodiversity, and human well-being.

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Expected impact and results:

–Scientific Impact: Increase knowledge on a) using Apis and non-Apis bees/ other pollinators for ensuring sustainable local crop production through providing pollination services; b) honey bee colony productivity and beekeeping management strategies; c) trends on effects of climate change on Apis and non Apis bees and other pollinators; d) minimising colony losses and risks from pollination adequacy; e) predicting the Health Status and productivity of a honey bee colony; f) protecting local biodiversity and their adaptability — Societal Impact: a) enhance citizens’ and policy makers’ engagement in problem analysis, solving and decision making; b) strengthen the farmer-beekeeper relationship for the benefit of all and food security; c) raise awareness on the importance of bees and pollinators/ the need for preservation of local healthy populations — Economic Impact: Increase marketing potential of precision apiculture tools; b) advance in innovation; c) optimise of land resources exploitation; d) increase job offers; e) ensures sustainability of income to farmers and beekeepers