Mrs Vidushi Patel1,2, Dr. Bryan Boruff1,2, Dr. Eloise Biggs1, Dr. Natasha Pauli1
1University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia
2Collaborative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products, Crawley, Australia
The socio-ecological system (SES) approach conceptualizes human-environment interactions as a coupled system and provides an understanding of patterns, processes and how pressures are manifested within the system. This research unfolds socio-ecological aspects of the bee industry in Western Australia using Ostrom’s SES framework. We combined scholarly literature, participant observations, and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders to understand first, second and third tier components of the system. We validated our representation through an expert panel of well-established beekeepers. Apiarists in WA follow migratory practices pursuing state wide flowering events. These migratory operations are governed by biophysical factors, and legislated, negotiated and physical access to flowering locations. Strict biosecurity regulations, natural and controlled burning events, and changes in landuse planning effect beekeepers’ livelihoods by influencing flowering patterns and resource access. Furthermore, bee-flower mutualism and the resulting ecosystem service flows add complexity to the system’s management. Our approach, through conceptualization of industry complexities, allows identification of how pressures on the system may result in impact pathways that could influence a range of stakeholders and the environment. Our findings and improved understanding of the complex socio-ecological system of migratory beekeeping can be used to support effective landscape management for pollination and sustained apiary production.
Vidushi Amit Patel has completed masters in Geomatics from Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University,India. Currently she is a PhD Candidate Geography and Planning, School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia. She is also affiliated with Cooperative Research Center (CRC) for Honeybee Products. Her research Interests include geography of human-environment interactions, spatial modelling for sustainable systems and climate change.