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The costs of beekeeping for pollination services in the UK? An explorative study

Breeze, T. D., Dean, R. and Potts, S. G. (2017) The costs of beekeeping for pollination services in the UK? An explorative study. Journal of Apicultural Research, 56 (3). pp. 310-317. ISSN 0078-6913

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00218839.2017.1304518

Abstract/Summary

Honey bees are a key managed pollination service resource in crop agriculture, providing flexible, highly generalist and resilient pollination service delivery to a broad range of UK crops. Despite their potential economic impacts, there is little information on the actual costs involved in providing pollination services experienced by UK beekeepers. Utilizing an online survey of UK beekeepers, this study examines the full economic costs of providing pollination services to crops in the UK, as well as examining the differences in costs experienced by different beekeepers. The findings indicate that <10% of respondent beekeepers, mainly professionals, actively provide pollination services to crops, and rarely receive payment for this in field crops. In apple orchards, where beekeepers most often receive payments, the benefits to the orchard are estimated at 86–149 times the payments received by beekeepers. Although exploratory, the findings highlight the need for wider collection of information on beekeeping costs and several key knowledge gaps that could influence future development of the UK bee farming industry.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:69535
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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