Bee Management Introduction – Thirty Years of Spring – Phenology.

Bee Management Introduction – Thirty Years of Spring – Phenology.

Thirty Years of Spring – Phenology: It’s supposed to offer variation in Spring flowering times each year. Over a long period of time like 30 years, however, the phenology of blooming plants provides an unusually different result–uniformity. This assumption was corroborated by a 30 year Minnesota study. Let us discuss what is phenology at first.

Phenology is “the study of the correlation between climate and periodic biological phenomena.”  In the Minnesota study, the specific definition was Leaf bud development and the flowering of a select group of trees and shrubs located on or in the neighborhood of the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus. The specialty of this study is that the data were recorded by the same viewer throughout the 30 years and makes it more reliable.

The results exhibited great differences between years. But when observed in 10-year increments, little variation was perceived. As per this study, the minor and uneven change in average dates from decade to decade provides evidence that these actions have not been occurring consistently earlier or later than the recent years.”

Another set of data accumulated over a sixty-three years period showed the average date for “Pink Bud Stage” was May 7, exactly almost the same as the forty years average date, May 7 and 8. The same was correct for “Apple Petal Fall.” Both sets of statistics show May 22 or 23.

These records are more than just passing interest, have been used by entomologists to schedule field works, to spread pesticide, and to educate learners. Beekeepers can also average their observations over many years to predict when serious management techniques might be necessary.

Although photoperiod is essential in moderate areas, in the subtropics and tropics; Moisture availability becomes more important than hours of daylight which don’t vary significantly throughout the year. Thus, the Apicultural calendar differs in subtropical Florida from that found in the moderate midwest, as does a distinctive one from tropical Latin America.

An important decision drawn from the Minnesota study defined above is the value of extended observation. It would be impossible to develop an apicultural calendar without information like this. The same is true for other features of the beekeeping operation.

Unfortunately, accelerated climate variation appears to disclose that the conventional wisdom of the apicultural calendar as being invariant can no longer be relied on.  It’s at risk of being upturned because the average bloom time is no longer the same but appeared to be moving much more thoroughly than in the past.  This could be bad news for many plants and the animals that depend on them.

It’s also possible to make one’s own observations and record them for the future, and enroll in special projects, such as  called “Nectar Collectors.”

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