Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability

First Advisor

Joseph Lanning


Existing research suggests that changes in climate, such as rainfall and temperature shifts, will threaten bees’ main food sources and cause detrimental impacts on apiculture globally. Despite this, to the best of the author’s knowledge, there is little available by way of research relating to how beekeepers themselves experience these increased pressures to their practices. This research project investigated the experiences of beekeepers in the United States, Malawi, and Cameroon. Surveys of US beekeepers, and interviews with Malawian and Cameroonian beekeepers were coded for emergent themes and surveys were analyzed via descriptive statistics. Major differences in challenges reported by beekeepers in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa included a higher incidence of disease and pest prevalence in the US, and more issues surrounding resource and materials access in Malawi and Cameroon. Survey and interview observations on temperature and precipitation contained common emergent themes such as climate “unpredictability” and “extreme” weather events paired with adaptations including supplementary feeding, hive construction and placement alterations, temporal shifts in practices, and increased monitoring techniques. As pollinators such as honey bees are essential to food systems and biodiversity across the globe, all practices to promote the health of managed bee populations are to be encouraged. Beekeeping adaptation may be vital to ensuring continued pollination services, for which demands are expected to increase in the future landscape of agriculture. For these reasons the global community would benefit from more cross-cultural exchange of methods to practice beekeeping sustainably, and in-depth research into the adaptation themes uncovered in this study.


Agricultural Education | Apiculture | Food Security