Study Shows Climate and Soil Conditions Affecting Honey Yield

A new study by Penn State researchers provides insight on why honey yields have been dropping since the 1990s. The study, published in Environmental Research, was based on five decades of open-source data on average honey yield per honey bee colony, land use, herbicide use, climate, weather anomalies, and soil productivity. Researchers concluded that climate conditions and soil productivity were the factors most linked to baseline honey yields, while changes in herbicide, land use, and weather affected how much honey was produced in a given year. “Our findings provide valuable insights that can be applied to improve models and design experiments to enable beekeepers to predict honey yields, growers to understand pollination services, and land managers to support plant–pollinator communities and ecosystem services,” noted lead author Gabriela Quinlan.