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Revista de Ciências Agrárias

versão impressa ISSN 0871-018X

Resumo

CERVEIRA, João et al. The Beira Alta beekeepers: perceptions and behaviors towards the risks of pesticide use. Rev. de Ciências Agrárias [online]. 2017, vol.40, n.spe, pp.301-310. ISSN 0871-018X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.19084/RCA16199.

The collapsing of bee colonies at global level, is a concern for beekeepers and for the scientific and technical communities. Several studies suggest that the use of pesticides is one of the causes for the bee mortality that is occurring in the United States and in several European countries, including Portugal. In Portugal, the assessment of the risks posed by pesticides to the beekeeping practice and the beekeepers, to the bee populations and the quality and safety of the honey and of other products of the hive is difficult because of its extensive character. Thus, the aim of this work was to characterize beekeepers from the Beira Alta region and their practices as well as the risk associated with agricultural practices implemented in the area of ​​influence of their apiaries. A geographic information system of the beekeepers (members of the Beira Alta Beekeepers Association) and their apiaries in Viseu region was designed and used to establish a risk scale based on the ecosystems mosaic on a 500m radius around each apiary. In addition, a data survey was applied to a sample of 15 representative beekeepers, to collect information on the beekeeper, apiary and beekeeping practices, and to assess the potential risks due to pesticide use associated with farming in the surroundings of the apiaries. It was estimated that in 70% of the beehives the risks to bees due to the use of pesticides are reduced, since they are in predominantly forest areas. However, about 20% of beehives fall into high risk areas, since the surroundings are dominated by annual crops, vineyards and orchards in which the risk of pesticide use is high.

Palavras-chave : Apis melifera; beekeeping; perceptions; pesticides; risks.

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