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Honey bee research projects

The NBU has an active and internationally recognised research programme that has led to the production of over 30 peer-review publication in the last 5 years. Projects vary widely in scale and content, but all share the aim of obtaining information that will provide beekeepers, the scientific community and government policy makers with the best advice to improve our collective understanding of honey bee health. Our research programme focusses on providing practical tools to help beekeepers adopt good husbandry practices to mitigate threats and maintain healthy honey bee stocks.

Our current project portfolio can be summarised as follows:

  • Varroa biology and reproduction;
  • Development of mathematical models for understanding the spread of pollinator pests and diseases;
  • Long-term impacts of honey bee disease control policy;
  • Studies into genetics and honey bee diversity in the UK;
  • Identifying novel honey bee pathogens and characterising their distribution;
  • Improving risk-based approaches to honey bee health surveillance;
  • Compiling evidence about beekeeping practices in the UK;
  • Comprehending how land use impacts the health of honey bee colonies;
  • Understanding the nutritional needs of honey bees to improve colony health;
  • Small and large-scale field studies that monitor honey bee health;
  • GLP regulatory studies and assessment of veterinary medicines for bees;
  • Studies into the biology and control of Small Hive Beetle; and
  • Pest Risk Assessment of exotic threats to UK honey bees, to assist with Contingency Planning.