SmartBees

Sustainable Management of Resilient Bee Populations

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SMARTBEES in Research Gate

There is a great interest for SMARTBEES project in the social networking of researchers and scientists Research Gate:
Check this project out here" Read More…

SMARTBEES at APIMONDIA, September 29th- October 4th, Istanbul, Turkey

At the 45th International Apicultural Congress APIMONDIA September 29th- October 4th, Istanbul, Turkey, members of SMARTBEES consortium are going to give talks/organize Round Tables discussions relevant to the project. Read More…

SMARTBEES training on instrumental insemination in Pulawy, Poland

The SMARTBEES training for instrumental insemination of honey bee queens was organized in the laboratory of the Bee department in Pulawy (Poland) from 8th to 12th of July. Eleven participants from Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Poland and Lithuania were trained by Dr. Malgorzata Bienkowska and Dr. Jacob Wegener in the basic techniques for instrumental insemination as well as in management of drone producing colonies.


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3rd Seminar for SMARTBEES coordinators in Pulawy, Poland

The 3rd SMARTBEES seminar for the breeding coordinators (http://smartbees-fp7.eu/Extension/Performance/Breed-Coord/) was held in Pulawy (Poland). During the two days seminar (6th and 7th July) the participants actively discussed the progress achieved so far and the challenges faced during the implementation of the breeding programs. In addition, suggestions and ideas concerning the future of the SMARTBEES breeding network were presented and discussed.

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SMARTBEES meets Malta's president

SMARTBEES' consortium member Hessen Bee Institute, Germany, Dr. Aleksandar Uzunov (right), met with Hon. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, and Prof. David Mifsud, University of Malta & Breeds of Origin Conservancy, to discuss the planning of future conservation strategies for the Maltesean native honeybee, Apis mellifera ruttneri.

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List of publications supported by the SMARTBEES fund

Please see HERE for a continuously updated list of publications generated by various members of the SMARTBEES consortium.

Malta: European experts to discuss ways to protect endemic bees

SmartBees are in Malta discuss ways to protect endemic bees

The Times of Malta has covered a meeting that members of the SmartBees consortium organized.

The article is linked here or for download here.

SMARTBEES at the EURBEE, Congress of Apidology

We would be glad if you could join us at EURBEE in Cluj, Romania, on Friday 9th in the “Regele Ferdinand” Amphitheater where several partners will be presenting their results obtained so far and will give an outlook of the work ahead:

After a short introduction by coordinator Kaspar Bienefeld at 9:45 Desiderato Annoscia will talk about "Varroa destructor and Deformed Wing Virus are linked in a mutualistic symbiosis accounting for their major role in honeybee colony collapses ";

after this presentation Adrian Siceanu will be presenting about: Preliminary study regarding infestation level of Varroa (Varroa destructor) correlated with honeybee colonies survival in a case study in Romania.

Further speakers are
  • Ralph Buchler: Low Varroa mite reproduction in European honey bees
  • Gennaro di Prisco: Neonicotinoids and immunity
  • Ewan Campbell: Proteomic analysis of Varroa destructor saliva: do factors in mite saliva affect bee immuno-competence?
  • Jakob Wegener: Proteomic analysis of hygienic behaviour in Apis mellifera carnica
  • Marina Meixner: Genetic and morphometric variation of A. mellifera mellifera across its range
  • Aleksander Uzunov: Genetic improvement of European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations
The complete program is found here.


SMARTBEES in the EU Research and Innovation Magazine!

The Horizon Magazine brings you the latest news and features about thought-provoking science and innovative research projects funded by the EU. In the May issue which was dedicated to all kinds of interesting facts about insects the SMARTBEES project has been included. This is the text:

Researchers are developing mite-resistant bees:
The average worker bee can pollinate up to 5 000 flowers in one day, yet only produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire life. Honey production and pollination may be at risk as the bee population in parts of Europe continues to dwindle due a decline in habitable space, pesticides, and the deadly varroa mite, which has been the main reason for the majority of colony losses over the last 50 years. Some researchers, backed by EU funding, are looking into ways to measure bees’ resistance against the mite to teach beekeepers how to breed stronger populations.

You may find the full text entitled "Eight creepy crawly facts that will really bug you" if follow this link.

Training in Lithuania

On April 30th and May 1st a training event was held in Lithuania with 45 breeders.


Training in France

In beautiful Avignon, France, another training session was concluded in early April. 35 breeders/beekeepers from entire France attended.

Training Portugal and Malta

2016 started with two further training seminars: 35 breeders met in Portugal (Nisa, 3rd or March) and in Malta the SmartBees team met with 14 breeders (6.3.2016).

SMARTBEES at the 5th Panhellenic Beekeeping Congress

SMARTBEES activities of the team of Agricultural University of Athens-Greece (Laboratory of Agricultural Zoology and Entomology) were presented in 5th Panhellenic Beekeeping Congress, Piraeus, Greece, 4-6 December 2015.
Please find the talk (in Greek) for download here.

SMARTBEES at the 16th Panhellenic Entomological Congress

The team of Agricultural University of Athens-Greece (Laboratory of Agricultural Zoology and Entomology) published a poster presenting “SMARTBEES” project, in 16th Panhellenic Entomological Congress, Heraklio, Crete, Greece, 20-23 October 2015.
You may find the poster (in Greek) here for download.

Article in Greek beekeeping journal

The colleagues at the Agricultural University of Athens have written an article in the beekeeping journal "Melissokomiko Vima" January - February of the Federation of Greek Beekeepers' Associations. Here is the pdf of the article.

SMARTBEES will establish a network for conservation of the European honeybee subspecies

Smartbees will establish a network of individuals and groups working to conserve the different subspecies of European honeybees. The first step is to collect basic information on the existing groups/organisations focusing on honeybee conservation. Read more about this conservation network here.

SmartBees at the 44th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress in Korea

At the 44th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress in Korea SmartBees coordinator Prof. Bienefeld held a talk in frame of the symposium: Indigenous Bees aid Conservation I entitled "The status and prospects of Apis cerana". You find the abstract below:

The status and prospects of Apis cerana
Kaspar Bienefeld, Holly Jones
Institute for Bee Research Hohen Neuendorf, Germany

Although A. cerana produces less honey per colony than A. mellifera, it is well-acclimated to its native environment, gentle, and resistant to honey bees' main threat: Varroa destructor. These factors seems A. cerana optimal for beekeeping within its natural habitat A survey was sent to 30 apiculturists throughout Asia to assess their observations of current A, cerana populations, population changes, influences of A. mellifera, and other aspects ofbeekeeping in their respective countries. On average, A. cerana populations have decreased by 55%' but up to 95% in some areas of its range, due partially to imports of European Apis mellifera and the resulting exchangeofdiseases. In62,5Yo (10of16) ofthecountriesinquestion,anevenfurtherdeclineinA'cerana populations is to be expected. Nearly all participants expressed support for A. cerana conservation measures and a third specifically emphasized the necessity of breeding progmms. As the superioi performance of A. mellifera relies largely on breeding programs, similar practices with A. cerana should improve traits which beekeepers have previously considered to be insufficient. The substantial genetic improvement in terms of productivity, behavior, and disease resistance observed in A. mellifera following the introduction of new breeding strategies attests to the effectiveness and sustainability ofthis option. In reference to the concepts ofthe new EU "Smartbees" project (www.smartbees-fu7.eu), which uses modern breeding strategies to adapt endangered A. mellifera subspecies to beekeepers'needsand thus preserve these native populations, we suggest creating a similar initiative for A. cerana'

Training in Romania

A training for performance testing was held in Bucharest (Romania) on October 10th.

SmartBees presentation in Czech Republic

The project was presented in Brno on the 26th of September 2015

Article in the German weekly newspaper "Die Zeit"

The well-known and respected weekly newspager "DIE ZEIT" published an article focussing on the mite problem and mentioning in detail the SmartBees project.
Here is the link to the article.

Trainings in Greece and Poland

Two further training seminars were successfully held in Poland (Pulawy) and Greece (Athens) on May 30 and June 20, respectively.

Trainings in Norway and Croatia

We have successfully conducted 2 training seminars in Norway (Klofta) and Croatia (Sisak) on June 6 and 13, respectively.

SmartBees in the News

The German Bee Journal „Deutsches Bienenjournal“ featured the project in an interview explaining the meaning and importance of the Smartbees project. You find this interview in 2/2015 issue of the journal. It might be possible to link to this interview directly in the future. We will update this news accordingly.

Furthermore, the project has been mentioned in 2 other publications (both in German):

Bienefeld, K. (2014); Zuchterfolg oder genetische Vielfalt bei der Honigbiene ? Schweizer Bienen-Zeitung 137(12), 12-15
Bienefeld, K. (2015); Bienen-Landflucht bringt Probleme, VDL Nachrichten 65(1), 11

UPDATE: July 22 2015:
you find the interview now online at the Bienenjournal. Follow this link.

Training seminar in Belgrade

We are glad that many beekeepers attended our training in Belgrade (Serbia) on May 17th 2015.

SmartBees invites to participate at a survey!

The aim of the SmartBees-project is to find solutions to prevent colony losses caused by the Varroa mite and viruses and to counteract the systematic replacement of many native European bees. In this survey we will ask beekeepers in many European countries about their views on this issue. The results will be used to improve current communication methods and develop a toolkit with information and training materials. The results will also help develop conservation and breeding strategies for beekeepers who want to keep bees that are well adapted to their area.

Thank you for participating in this survey - SmartBees relies on your help to succeed!

Find the survey here.