Help the British Beekeepers’ Association raise essential funds for research into the threats which honeybees face.  Please give generously.

Current Research Projects 

These are some of the exciting projects we are currently supporting.


Dr Barbara Smith, University of Coventry  
Dr Smith is planning to evaluate the effect of particulate matter (pollution) on honey bee colonies by placing sensors in apiaries which will monitor the presence of particles of 10 microns and smaller ones of 2.5 microns.  She is looking to recruit beekeepers in the Midlands to take part in this study and to provide samples of bees and hive products. To take part in this project register on this page https://www.thrivinghive.co.uk/take-part or Email Dr Barbara Smith for more information.


Professor Juliet Osborne and Dr Peter Kennedy.  University of Exeter  This group have a large project working on various aspects of the Asian Hornet some of which Peter Kennedy presented at the BBKA Asian Hornet conference.  This smaller project, funded by the BBKA, is looking specifically at the prey of the hornet, a really interesting topic about which little is currently known.  Work to date on this topic has mostly used microscopic remains of species which does not give a true picture.  The aim here is to use next-generation DNA barcoding using the COI gene to identify the prey species accurately.  They are working with partners in France, Jersey and Spain who are collecting samples from hornet nests which are then brought back for studying.


LASI, University of Sussex, Dr Karin Alton and Professor Ratniecks  This project is looking at the effects of lawn management on forage and insect species. 

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Completed Research Projects

Drs Rinke Rinkenoog and Dr Matthew Pound, University of Northumbria  This project arose as a follow on from a previous project where urban and rural sites were compared.  They have been studying whether green infrastructure, provided by businesses, in urban environments can sustain bees and other pollinators.  The work included assessing pollinator diversity across a range of sites in the city centre.  Much of the final work of identifying insects and pollen had to be done at home as they had no access to the laboratories due to lockdown!  For more information click here.

Dr Cwyn Solvi, Queen Mary, University of London  This project worked on a monitoring entrance system in honey bee hives.  Dr Solvi was hoping to extend her studies but travelling between Norway, Australia and the UK has proved problematic during the pandemic. For more information click here.

Dr Stephen Martin   This project studied deformed wing virus (DWV) and the development of tolerance in honey bee colonies.

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Research Project Presentations

Three of our funded research groups have given presentations to provide valuable updates on how their projects are progressing.  Please look out for the next update later in the year on our Events page. 

Hannah Samson, Leicester University  Looking at the effect of air pollution on pollinators using bumble bees as a model. The microbial communities of gut samples have been analysed using DNA.

Philip Donkersley, Lancaster University  Looking for the presence of insecticides, fungicides and herbicides in bee samples from municipal sites.  Wax samples are still welcomed for this project.  If you are able to help please send any samples directly to the address below:-

Dr Philip Donkersley
LEC Stores
Lancaster Environment Centre
Lancaster University
LA14YQ

Alternatively please email Philip Donkersley ([email protected]) for further information or if you require financial support to cover postage costs.

Nick Balfour, Sussex University  Setting up a database of plant and insect interactions (DOPI https://www.dopi.org.uk/).  This project is now complete.

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Additional Research Projects we have Supported

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology who have been analysing honey samples to monitor how the pollen content of honey varies & which plants & trees honeybees favour. 

 

We have given funds to help Sussex University create a national database of plant/pollinator interactions which will record which plants support all pollinators including honeybees.

The University of Reading has been testing for heavy metals in pollen and nectar and hopes to develop a monitoring system for heavy metals from this research. 

Edible bee pollen

We are also backing Poshbee which aims to support healthy bee populations, sustainable beekeeping and pollination across Europe. It is a 5 year project (2018-2023) with 42 partners from 14 European countries, including UK.  Please click here for the latest update. 

These are just a few of the fascinating studies we are supporting with your help. Any funds you can give will be helping our honeybees in a very real way!

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