Projects which the BBKA has supported in the past and which have now been completed are listed here:  

Professor Juliet Osborne and Dr Peter Kennedy, University of Exeter:
  Prey Spectrum of Asian Hornets.
This project looked specifically at the prey of the hornet, a really interesting topic about which little is currently known.  Previous work mostly used microscopic remains of species which did not give a true picture.  The aim was to use next-generation DNA barcoding using the COI gene to identify the prey species accurately.  They worked with partners in France, Jersey and Spain who collected samples from hornet nests which were then brought back for studying.
Further information is available here.

Prof Steve Martin, University of Salford:
  Understand the evolution of natural Varroa tolerance mechanisms in the UK beekeeping population.
Click here to read the BBKA News article published in October 2021

Dr R Vinkenoog, Northumbria University:
  City Slickers versus Country Yokels – foraging behaviours of urban and rural bees.  To include detailed analysis of the pollens collected and observations of the range of pollinators visiting forage in the area.

Dr Cwyn Solvi, Queen Mary University of London:
  Entrance monitor system
The main aim of this project was to develop an entrance monitoring system that can track individual honey bees entering and exiting their hive.  The system also needed to be able to be used with a variety of insects, cost under £250 per unit, and be user friendly enough so that researchers at all levels can utilise the system. 
Further information is available here.

Prof Dave Goulson, University of Sussex:
  Database of pollinator interactions
Creating the world’s first online, open access, pollinator plant interaction database.  This database will primarily collate the published interactions between Great Britain’s invertebrate pollinators and their flowering partners.
Further information is available here.   A progress report was issued in August 2019.

Dr R Vinkenoog & Dr M Pound, Northumbria University:
  Urban bees – can businesses help through green infrastructure?
They studied 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! 
Further information is available here.

PoshBee project, Reading University:
The BBKA has supported the PoshBee Project which aims to determine the effects of chemicals on the health of honey bees, bumblebees and solitary bees in order 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 the UK.  BBKA’s involvement in the early stages of the project was to provide bee hives in apple orchards in Kent. A number of our beekeepers were involved and were very helpful and thus instrumental in making this a successful part of the project.
Click on the logo above for further information.

National Honey Monitoring Scheme, CEH:
The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology have been analysing honey samples to monitor how the pollen content of honey varies & which plants & trees honey bees favour.   
By plant DNA barcoding, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology are able to provide detailed analysis of the floral resources used by bees during honey production. It is anticipated that these data over extended time frames could provide a better understanding of the factors that impact honeybee populations.  BBKA members provided honey samples as part of this research.

Dr John Hammond, University of Reading:
Testing for heavy metals in pollen and nectar with the hope to develop a monitoring system for heavy metals from this research.  Investigated the exposure of bees to heavy metals through pollen and nectar. They measured the metals in pollen samples from across the country and investigated whether there were any differences between urban and rural environments in terms of exposure.  BBKA members provided samples for analysis.

Please give generously to help us keep these vital research projects going! Donate