A beekeeper who moves his honeybee colonies from one forage site to another during the productive season does not passively follow a prefixed sequence, but must create one by comparing a wide range of forage sites. How can migratory beekeeper sequence the movements of his honeybee colonies from one forage site to another? The microeconomic model formalized in Section 3 offers a solution to this question. The model assumes that the migratory beekeeper is following, in conditions of certainty, a profitability target under the constraint that the time taken up by each sequence of sites is less than or equal to the duration of the honeybee colonies’ annual biological cycle. Each forage site that the honeybee colonies visit contributes not just to the profitability but also to the sustainability of the sequence to which it belongs. Replacing one or more forage sites within a sequence therefore simultaneously affects the levels of profitability and sustainability. In Section 4, the sustainability of the sequence will be explained in terms of the characteristics of the sites, their agro-environmental context, the honey bee well-being and the timing and duration of the placement period of the honeybee colonies on the site.
Part of the book: Beekeeping