€9 million Horizon 2020 project – PoshBee – will protect global bee health

Posted on: 27 June 2018

Pollination experts from Trinity College Dublin are leading elements of a major new Horizon 2020 project named PoshBee (Pan-European Assessment, Monitoring and Mitigation of Stressors on the Health of Bees).

PoshBee, which has a funding budget of €9 million and will run for five years, aims to understand the impacts of multiple pressures on a range of bee species and develop new tools to help reduce risks and negative impacts.

Pollinators face multiple threats including agrochemicals, pathogens, habitat loss and climate change, but those involved in PoshBee hope their findings will help to ensure that bee health is protected – in Ireland, Europe, and across the globe.

The project, led by former Trinity College Dublin zoologist, Professor Mark Brown at Royal Holloway University of London, will bring together 42 partners from across Europe, 7 beekeeping associations, 8 farming organisations, 4 companies, and 23 academic/government research organisations to deliver a multi-disciplinary and multi-actor approach to bee health.

Professor in Botany in Trinity College Dublin’s School of Natural Sciences, Jane Stout, is leading the development and implementation of a workpackage that will see researchers conduct fieldwork across eight countries in Europe to assess the real levels of exposure that bees have to chemical, nutritional and pathogen stressors. In Ireland, this work will be conducted in collaboration with Teagasc and the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA).

Professor Stout said: “Because of worldwide concerns over bee decline, we will be working with farmers and beekeepers across Europe, to establish a baseline of what’s stressing bees in agricultural ecosystems.”

“It’s thought that a combination of pressures, including agrochemicals, disease and loss of floral resources, which provide bees with their nutrition, is contributing to bee decline. We are aiming to quantify this in the field, in order to try to establish exposure hazards, and ultimately develop tools, screening protocols, and practice- and policy-relevant outputs to local, national, European, and global stakeholders.”

Media Contact:

Thomas Deane, Media Relations Officer | deaneth@tcd.ie | +353 1 896 4685