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Research projects

In recent years several research projects have been trying to shed light on the principal factors influencing bee health and into the losses in managed honey bee colonies, wild bees and other pollinators in Europe and other countries.


A new FP7 project Swarmonitor will develop the first monitoring tool that would detect changes in honey bee activity within the beehive for the effective management of bees. Changes in the activity within the hive will indicate early signs of potential swarming and possible poor health, so the beekeeper can intervene to manage the colony. The tool will allow beekeepers to remotely diagnose colony status without the invasive opening of hives for physical inspection. This will increase the efficiency of beekeeping allowing small and hobby beekeepers to more closely manage their colonies and predict behaviour that requires intervention remotely, and will allow commercial beekeepers to keep more hives over greater geographical distances so increasing their efficiency and profitability.


Super-B Cost Action, a joint research on bees and other pollinators, is bringing together scientific and societal communities involved in the conservation and sustainable management of ecosystem services mediated by pollinators.


In 2010 the Bees in Europe and the Decline Of honeybee Colonies Project (BEE DOC) was launched under Research Framework Programme 7. The BEE DOC comprised a network of eleven partners from honey bee pathology, chemistry, genetics and apicultural extension aiming to improve colony health of honey bees. The BEE DOC worked on empirically and experimentally filling the knowledge gaps in honey bee pests and diseases.


The declines in European wild bees and other insect pollinators were quantified by the ALARM project which also assessed the circumstances responsible for the observed losses including habitat loss, fragmentation, pesticides, invasives and climate change. Based on this work the STEP project is assessing the impacts pollinator declines are having on agriculture, biodiversity and wider society. STEP is developing mitigation strategies to ensure pollinators are protected and managed for sustainable pollination services.


The BEE SHOP research project has addressed specific issues relating to honey contamination by pesticides and treatments used to combat pests and pathogens in the hive. It has produced a manual for beekeeperspdf Choose translations of the previous link  on the best husbandry practices to preserve the hygiene of the hive and a number of outcomespdf Choose translations of the previous link  on the potential to increase bee resistance to viruses and parasites.


The COLOSS COST action has built up a network of researchers and other stakeholders across Europe to follow the evolution of colony losses and to join forces of participants in national research programmes to understand and combat the factors responsible for major colony losses.