Bee Keepers Can Now Check Seasonal Weather Outlooks
Bee Keepers Can Now Check Seasonal Weather Outlooks Against High Resolution Land Cover
Summer likely to lack
widespread monthly extremes in temperature and
Hamilton, New Zealand, 29 October 2018.
The rapidly growing honey industry in New Zealand has had some weather challenges over the last few years. As Karin Kos noted regarding the 2017 season ‘very dry and windy weather was not conducive to honey and due to the nature of the industry unfortunately it is weather dependent’. Bees also find different land covers to exploit depending on the weather with pastures, indigenous forest and manuka/kanuka forests if made available being just a few examples of how bees can change their diet when weather vagaries occur.
Now management decisions can be informed by a data set in the ExtendWeather tool kit. Through the post-processing of LINZ high resolution landcover mapping the team at ExtendWeather -- a subsidiary of CLIMsystems, based in Hamilton -- has linked landcover maps with seasonal forecasts for precipitation, temperature, wind and solar radiation. These four weather variables can be influential on bee behaviour and hence honey production, hive health and over wintering potential.
The ensemble CFSv2 forecast has through a proprietary downscaling methodology been localised for New Zealand to a 5-kilometre resolution. The ExtendWeather Viewer is a software package that allows the user to look at past and new forecasts, compare maps and to define specific locations and save those locations so that the frequently updated forecast (every ten days) can generate outputs consistently for specific sites. Useful and exportable graphs of each variable for a range of months can be generated, printed and saved.
With bees under pressure from parasites and diseases, pesticides, limitations on nutrition and habitat dynamics the availability of very regularly updated seasonal forecasts that link with land cover types can help hive managers look ahead at the weather and see both opportunities and challenges that may lie ahead and plan accordingly.
See: https://www.extendweather.com/home/getstarted/ and/or text/call Soumik on 022 132 0438 for more information.
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Land cover and precipitation outlook for the upper South Island. The ExtendWeather viewer allows the user to link the two variables for generating specific outputs by land cover location.
Exportable graphs for specific locations for precipitation, temperature, wind and solar radiation anomalies for the historical conditions helps to put the outlook for each site in perspective.