Diversity of flower-rich habitats as a persistent source of healthy diet for honey bees
- Human geography, geoinformation science, interdisciplinary studies, demography, landscape ecology, ecosystem services
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The ecosystem service ‘honey provision’ was mapped in two regional case studies in Hungary and Romania. The process followed the participatory approach, aiming to build the knowledge of local experts into locally adapted simple rule-based matrix models. Several types of forests, agricultural land and grasslands were considered valuable sources of pollen and nectar for honeybees. At the landscape level it was not only the single habitat types but also the diversity of them is what was found to best sustain the bee colony throughout the growing season. Natural status of ecosystems support flower richness and thus create benefits for nature conservation and apiculture alike. On the other hand, some invasive plant species with bad conservation reputation are also appreciated by beekeepers, which can create potential conflicts between the two sectors. Regional ecosystem service maps can assist cross- sectoral discussion, help harmonize land management and serve as tool for conflict resolution.