2.2.4. Evaluation of a mating station: environmental conditions

Mating between the virgin honey bee queen and numerous mature drones occurs in the air, at a certain distance from the hives, in rendezvous sites called “Drone Congregation Areas (DCA) (Koeniger and Koeniger, 2007; Zmarlicki and Morse, 1963). Location of DCAs tends to remain constant over time. When establishing a mating station, it can be useful to assess the presence of surrounding colonies and DCAs. This can be achieved in several ways, as described in the sections below. A comparison of the methods described below can be found in Table 4.

Table 3. Meteorological parameters, instruments used to measure the parameters, and units of measure that can be used to characterize mating stations

Parameter

Instrument

Unit (Abbreviation)

Temperature

Thermometer

Celsius (C0)

Relative humidity

Hygrometer

Percentage (RH)

Wind speed

Anemometer

Meter in second (m/s)

Wind direction

Anemometer

Wind rose (NESW)

Precipitation

Rain gauge

Millimetres on hour (mm/h)

Cloud cover

Campbell–Stokes recorder

Campbell–Stokes recorder card / Subjective cloud coverage in %

Altitude

GPS

meters above sea level (m.a.s)

Position

GPS

Latitude and longitude coordinates

Vegetation

Aerial photography

proportion of different land use, presented as a percentage