Applying Geographic Information Systems to the Study of Honey Bee Diseases and Pests
The western honey bee (Apis mellifera) is one of the most valuable pollinators in the global agriculture industry. However, recent years have seen a decrease in the worldwide honey bee population through colony collapse, disease, pests, urban growth, climate change, and the increased use of pesticides. This thesis explores the quality of open data available to researchers interested in understanding the geographic distribution of honey bee diseases and pests in Nova Scotia, Canada, and identifies locations within the province that may be vulnerable for honey bees. Results of a Land Suitability Analysis using geographic information systems (GIS) software show that GIS can be used to identify regions that meet certain conditions related to disease and pest development. However, this research concludes that more credible, relevant, and legitimate information needs to be accessible through data portals and requests for information for GIS to be more useful in this capacity.