Honey bees are under threat and feral colonies appear to be in decline. In order to understand why, we need to undertake scientific research.

Much of the research in honey bees focuses on their health and the factors which have caused the decline in honey bee numbers.

Multiple factors

It is now generally agreed that there are a number of factors, including pesticides, diseases, poor nutrition caused by habitat destruction, changing weather patterns, insufficient bee disease treatments and inexperienced beekeepers which are all relevant and in varying degrees of importance. Unravelling the interactions of these factors is the role of investigative research and then working on developing solutions and how this can be applied to practical beekeeping is the role of applied research.

The BBKA is involved in both investigative and applied research projects.

Funding support 

The BBKA and its members are often approached for help and support by researchers. It may be to ask for a Letter of Support for a research grant application; an approach for some funding support or help ‘in kind’, for example a number of members participating in the project. 

As well as the prospect of support the other main attraction for third parties to want to work with the BBKA is that they can communicate their results to a significant number of beekeepers, for example through the BBKA News or at the BBKA Spring Convention.

Demonstration of the effective communication of research work is an increasingly important requirement placed on grant-holders.