Development of a diversified farming system of citrus and Aromatic Medicinal Plants (AMPs) in combination with apiculture, which would make best use of resources (agricultural land, low pesticide input, endemic honey bee subspecies best suited to Mediterranean conditions, enhancement of pollination & biocontrol), improve (quality, safety, security) citrus fruit and honey produce, and increase the farmers’ and beekeepers’ income.
Combined, citrus-AMPs-beekeeping system, could facilitate a more efficient land use, optimizing pollination services by honeybees and benefiting both the crop and beehive products.
A transition to modern IPM tools, technologies, and practices that enable low pesticide inputs, such as those to be tested in PLANT-B, is to lessen the pressure in citrus cultivation while supporting food security and food safety.
Conservation and exploitation of endemic honeybee subspecies resistant to major honeybee pests such as the Varroa mite are in the same direction.
Assessment of pesticide residues in citrus fruits and honey will ensure the safety of both products for human consumption. Furthermore, the determination of quality, safety specifications and traceability in honey, will help to safeguard its quality and verify its high nutritional value, consistency, and purity.