Beekeepers' gold: reconstructing tupelo honey yield in northwest Florida using Nyssa ogeche tree-ring data

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Justin Timothy Maxwell (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Paul Knapp

Abstract: This dissertation contains three manuscripts that have been either submitted to or accepted by peer-reviewed academic journals. I first examine the U.S. honey industry to determine how the industry is responding to the current multiple challenges facing U.S. beekeepers. I discuss how the industry might survive these challenges by transitioning to a multifunctional system and becoming more economically and environmentally sustainable. I then examine a specific honey type--tupelo--in more detail using tree-rings to expand the honey record. Tupelo honey is derived from the nectar of Ogeechee tupelo (Nyssa ogeche) trees growing in northwest Florida and southern Georgia. I use N. ogeche tree-ring data to reconstruct and expand the honey yield-per-hive record and then place the current decline in a historical context. I also identify the climatic and hydrologic conditions conducive to optimal honey yields. This project is the first to use dendrochronological techniques to expand and analyze honey yields. I use tupelo honey yield as an example of how climatic cycles may cause long-term fluctuations in crop productivity. The results demonstrate the utility of employing tree-rings to extend crop records to allow a broader understanding of yield variations inherent in agriculture and can be implemented for other crop yields.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2012
Keywords
AMO, Dendroagronomy, Tree Ring, Tupelo Honey
Subjects
Honey trade $z United States
Honey $z United States
Bee culture $z United States
Tupelo $x Climatic factors $z Florida