Sustainable Management of Resilient Bee Populations


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 (, 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.

SmartBees lädt zur Teilnahme an online-Befragung ein (in German)

Unser Projekt zielt darauf ab, die Honigbienen-Vielfalt auf unserem Kontinent zu erfassen und zu erhalten. Ein zentraler Teil des Projekts ist die Aufnahme der Meinungen, Ansichten und Bedürfnisse von Imkerinnen und Imkern bezüglich der Imkerei in ihrer Region im allgemeinen und die Wahl ihrer Bienenrasse/Unterart im Besonderen. Die Ergebnisse werden genutzt, um eine Art „Werkzeugkasten“ mit Informationen und Fortbildungsmaterialien zu erstellen. Das Ziel ist, allen Imkerinnen/Imkern zu helfen, diejenigen Bienen zu halten oder zu züchten, die am besten zu ihnen und ihrer Region passen. Dafür ist SmartBees auf Ihre Mitarbeit angewiesen – wenn Sie uns helfen wollen, Ihnen (und der europäischen Bienenvielfalt) zu helfen, freuen wir uns auf Ihre Beteiligung an der Umfrage hier.

Training seminar in Bergen and York

We welcomed many beekeepers at regional training event in Bergen, Norway, on the 9th of Mai 2015 and in York (England) on the 14th of May.

Smartbees in Switzerland

The project was presented in frame of the spring convention of the Swiss association for animal production. On the homepage of this organization, the prevention is available for download.

Regional training seminar in San Sebastian

We met a number of participating beekeepers from Spain, France and Portugal in our regional training event in San Sebastian, Spain, on the 24th of April 2015.

Regional training seminar in Skopje

Our regional training event in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, on the 11th of April 2015, a number of beekeepers participated from Macedonia and Albania.

Regional training seminar in Thessaloniki

We organized a regional training event in Thessaloniki, Greece, on the 8th of April 2015.

Presentation of Smartbees at the German breeders convention

Professor Bienefeld presented the project at the German bee breeders convention in Drübeck, Germany, on the13th of March 2015.

Smartbees in India and Nepal

The project has been presented in 2 seminars at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (ICAR) in New Delhi, India, on the 4th of March 2015 and at the Insitute of Science and Technologie of the Tribhuvan University and the National History Museum of Nepal in Kathmandu, Nepal, on the 9th of March 2015, respectively.

Romanian bee magazine reports on SmartBees

The Romanian bee magazine „Romaniâ apicolâ“ issued a 2 page report on the SmartBees project. You find the report here.