Standard use of Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques in honey bee research
Stephanie R Rogers and Benno Staub
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been used in various fields and disciplines to summarize and analyse spatial patterns and distributions, for the purpose of understanding how geographic and non-geographic entities interact with each other over space and time. Although honey bees are directly related to and influenced by their local environment, few studies have incorporated honey bee data into GIS for the purposes of gauging these spatial relationships. This paper will briefly discuss some of the types of spatial analyses and GIS methods that have been used for bees, and also, how some methodologies developed in the non-Apis bee domain could be applied to honey bee research. With this paper, we aim to stimulate spatial thinking processes and thus the future use of GIS analyses to better understand the relationships between environmental characteristics and honey bee health and abundance. We will introduce the framework and some important basic concepts of GIS, as well as provide detailed instructions for becoming familiar and comfortable in using the GIS softwares ArcGIS and Quantum GIS (QGIS) (a commercial and free GIS package) for the basics of geospatial research.