Apiculture knowledge transmission in a changing world: Can family-owned knowledge be opened?

Yuta Uchiyama, Hikaru Matsuoka, Ryo Kohsaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Ecosystem services of pollinators have been gaining importance, as mentioned in the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services thematic report on pollination in 2016. Apart from wild bees, human interventions including apiculture can contribute to management of ecosystem services. Ecological and local knowledge of management is transmitted through various processes, varying in content and quality. Methods: We analyzed the processes of knowledge transmission, beekeeping productivity, and their interactions with each other. The study was conducted in the Nagano Prefecture, Japan, where the largest quantity of bee honey is produced nationally. Beekeeping knowledge in Nagano is transmitted through different information channels, including families, friends, and books. We categorized the beekeepers based on their information channels. The relationship between productivity of beekeeping and information channels was also analyzed. Results: It was identified that beekeepers who obtained their knowledge from their parents had relatively large number of bee colonies. Furthermore, we observed by interviews with them that they tended to understand the importance of ecological conditions for sustainable beekeeping. Conclusion: The results implied a challenge to open the knowledge transmission channels beyond families, potentially transforming the knowledge from tacit knowledge among limited members to an explicit manualized knowledge in an aging society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ethnic Foods
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec


  • Beekeeping
  • Chi-square test
  • Discourse analysis
  • Japan
  • Tacit knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Anthropology


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