These are the research projects which the BBKA is currently funding:  

Prof F Ratneiks, University of Sussex:
Availability of summer bee forage in domestic garden lawns: flower species, bee and insect species and effects of lawn management.

Dr Barbara Smith, Coventry University:
Thriving Hive - mapping particulate presence in apiculture across the UK.
Further information is available here.

Dr R Vinkenoog & Catherine Baldock, Northumbria University:
Quantifying the importance of tree floral resources for pollinators in urban landscapes.

This research hopes to answer various questions such as:

  • How much pollen and nectar resources are produced by trees in urban landscapes?
  • How do pollinators use urban tree resources in urban landscapes?
  • What is the importance of urban trees for pollinators, and what is the importance of these pollinators for urban trees?
  • How does the addition of urban trees affect city-scale plant-pollinator community robustness?

Queen Mary University of London:

Use of molecular medicine for early and effective diagnostics and monitoring of honeybee health.

Develop accurate early detection and monitoring of pathogens to reduce the need for treatment and cross infection and thus significantly reduce colony losses.

Dr Grueter, Bristol University

The effects of land use on honey bee nutrition and health.

This project will explore the links between land-use and honeybee health and nutrition by addressing three main aims:

Aim 1: Test if land-use and the nutritional state of a colony affect the size of worker eggs laid by the queen
Aim 2: Assess if land-use affects worker life-history and life span
Aim 3: Establish links between land-use and the diversity and quantity of collected pollen sources

Every Beekeeper has wondered why sometimes colonies just don’t thrive and what the state of forage is for their bees. Knowledge like this enables the BBKA (with members' support) to push legislators to consider what the environment is doing for or to pollinators.

Dr Donkersley, Lancaster University

Accessibility robotics devices for beekeeping: Hive-Frame: a power assisted lifting device for accessibility in beekeeping.

Preliminary design work on a power-assisted frame for use with National hive designs to enable brood box and super box separation for beekeepers who struggle with lifting.  This device is to be adaptable for all types of hive. Hopefully this early research, if completed successfully, will release funds for a full prototype.  It would be nice to think that the BBKA could help not only its current membership manage the lifting etc of hives but enable those who would like to keep bees but due to restricted ability cannot currently do so.

Dr Richard Gill, Imperial College London:
Are pesticide impacts on honey bee metabolic rate, body temperature, and locomotion associated with impaired ability to thermoregulate colonies?     This is a joint project with BDI and CD Denis Trust.

Professor Richard Pywell, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Case Study to explore the use of emerging sequencing technologies to investigate the distribution of common bee diseases within the environment and if exposure to these can be linked to specific floral resources and wild pollinator interactions.

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