This is a message now consolidated in our knowledge. Thanks to the involvement of different stakeholder groups in the I-CHANGE project, the Living Lab of Genoa has extended its network to different targets such as hikers, mountain refuge owners and beekeepers.

Climate change manifests itself in ways that go beyond simple temperature changes; include extreme weather conditions such as droughts, floods and storms, which contribute to making the environment more hostile for bees. These events not only destroy the bees’ natural habitat, but also alter the availability of the resources they need to survive.

Recent studies and testimonies from beekeepers have highlighted how climate changes are shifting the seasons, influencing the life cycle of plants and, consequently, the production of nectar and pollen. This temporal misalignment between plant flowering and bee activity can have devastating effects on beekeeping, compromising honey harvesting and the ability of bees to gather the resources needed to support colonies.

Beekeepers are meeting these challenges with resilience, adapting their practices in response to changing climate conditions. This includes relocating hives to new areas with an abundance of flora or selecting plant varieties that are more resistant to climate change to ensure the availability of food for bees or even feeding bees to ensure honey production

The beekeeper, who is part of the project network, began his work in a Regional Park of Liguria on the heights of Genoa and told us that since 2004 he has felt the negative effect that climate change has had on bees, which are considered biosignals. The resilience of bees in the face of climate change is a reminder of the strength of nature, but also its fragility. Supporting beekeepers and protecting bees is not simply an act of conservation; it is an investment in our future.

Technological progress offers new hope for beekeeping. Together, using climate and environmental data to predict and mitigate negative impacts on bees and beekeepers demonstrates how science and technology can work for nature.

But not only that: mountain users are also involved in the I-CHANGE project and in the collection of climate data. An ACRONET station has been installed near the Argentea refuge, due to its peculiar position and thanks to the collaboration of the Italian Alpine Club of Arenzano and with the commitment and collaboration of some members of the refuge for its installation.

The Argentea Refuge is in fact located at an altitude of 1088 meters above sea level, in the most spectacular stretch of the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, in the heart of the Beigua Park, the largest protected natural area in Liguria, recognized internationally. geopark since 2005 under the aegis of UNESCO. Its position is on the Tyrrhenian/Pianura Padana watershed near the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, which represents an important biological corridor for the protection of biodiversity thanks to its interconnection function with parks and protected areas that overlap and integrate with the SCI (Sites of Community Interest) and the SPAs (Special Protection Areas) of the Natura 2000 Network. The climate near the Argentea Refuge is affected by the marked differences between the two marine and Po valley sides. Winters, if influenced by the Tyrrhenian side, can be mild, but subject to violent dependencies due to the winds that often blow on the ridges. But, if influenced by the Po Valley side, they can also be very cold with average temperatures in January of -2°C and prolonged presence of snow and ice on the ground. The states are generally long and dry.

The positioning on the heights of the metropolitan city of Genoa, home to one of the project’s Living Labs, therefore allows the monitoring of neighboring areas from which it is often not possible to obtain continuous monitoring data fundamental for the study of climate change.