Sustainable Management of Resilient Bee Populations


IV SMARTBEES seminar - Slovenia (16th and 17th May 2018)

The IV seminar for the SMARTBEES breeding coordinators is going to be organized on 16th and 17th of May in Slovenia. The seminar will take place in Lukovica, the headquarters of Slovenian Beekeeping Association, which together with the Bee institute from Kirchhain, is the organizer of the event. We expect participants from more than 20 honey bee breeding groups from all over Europe. Read More…

SMARTBEES at APIMONDIA: Gold medal for DVD: "Queen rearing in an intensive system"

Our Romanian SMARTBEES partner ICDA has won the Gold medal for its scientific, didactic and technical video film "Queen rearing in an intensive system": 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.




3rd Seminar for SMARTBEES coordinators in Pulawy, Poland

The 3rd SMARTBEES seminar for the breeding coordinators ( 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.



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.


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.

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 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.

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.

Training seminar in Belgrade

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

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.

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.