B-GOOD on EIP-AGRI: Translating bee research for the needs of practice
Photo credit: Canva
B-GOOD’s long-term objective is to pave the way towards healthy and sustainable beekeeping within the European Union by providing guidance for beekeepers and helping them make better and more informed decisions. Successful communication, knowledge transfer, and dissemination of project updates and results are among the factors that contribute to this goal.
The first set of practice abstracts was prepared and published on the EIP-AGRI platform as part of the project's promotional and dissemination toolset, chosen to make the results of B-GOOD available to stakeholders and the general public. These brief summaries of the project are intended to showcase B-GOOD's outcomes to one of the key target groups - practitioners.
The first set of practice abstracts includes 29 items:
Prepared by Prof. Dirk de Graaf and Dr. Lina De Smet of Ghent University, the first group aims at presenting the general views of the project and is directed at readers who are interested in knowing more about the project organisation and its members. To do so, the project description batch is divided into 3 abstracts titled "The B-GOOD project", "The B-GOOD consortium, and "Description of Work Packages" respectively.
Abstracts 4, 5, and 6 are focused on engaging stakeholders. They give an overview of the B-GOOD’s analyses of the different stakeholders of beekeeping in Europe, directed at readers who are interested in learning more about dissemination and project outreach. Drafted by Dr. James Henty Williams of Aarhus University, abstracts 4 and 5 present the multi-actor approach and knowledge exchanges within the EU beekeeping sector. Dr. Coby van Dooremalen, Dirk Jan Valkenburg, and Zeynep Ülgezen of Wageningen Research introduce the two pathways set up within the framework for evaluation - testing technologies and gathering feedback - in abstract 6.
Abstract 7, prepared by Prof. Wim Verbeke of Ghent University, is an abstract presenting the methodology and preliminary results of the socio-economics analyses of the project. The analyses identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing beekeeping in the EU.
The following set of 11 abstracts gives an overview of the different tools developed by B-GOOD.
In abstract 8, Dr. Martin Benscik of Nottingham Trent University the usefulness of monitoring the colonies and the integration of the B-GOOD developed technologies.
Marten Schoonman оf BEEP Foundation presents the BEEP bases and app in abstracts 8 and 9.
The vibration and temperature sensors, recording the vibrations within the honeycomb and tracking the evolution of the temperature of the colony, are presented by Dr. Martin Bencsik in abstracts 13 and 14. These tools will help understand the colony’s sophisticated use of resources depending on different factors and might arise for the beekeeper to find out about his/her colony status, without having to open it.
In abstract 15 Dr. Cédric Alaux of INRAE talks about the development of a bee counter, which will
improve the monitoring of honeybee colonies and the environmental risk assessment by stakeholders, policymakers, beekeepers, and scientists.
David Claeys Boúúaert of Ghent University describes the TaqMan assay, developed by the research team and enabling the screening genotypically across Europe for the presence of suppressed mite reproduction. This assay will extend the understanding of the link between the genotype and the phenotype of the trait, an important mechanism by which honey bees increase their resistance against the Varroa mite, and might open the way for marker-assisted selection.
In abstract 17, Prof. Christopher John Topping and Dr. Xiaodong Duan of Aarhus University present the ApisRAM model. ApisRAM is a mechanistic, agent-based honey bee colony model for risk assessment with the goal of developing a digital twin of a colony.
The European scale flower resources database, created by B-GOOD and targeting the development of habitat suitability maps for honeybees, is the object of abstract 18 by Prof.Paulo Sousa (University of Coimbra) explains the goals and importance of this tool.
The following group of 11 abstracts is drafted by Dr. Coby van Dooremalen, Dirk Jan Valkenburg, and Zeynep Ülgezen of Wageningen Research. After a general overview of the work conducted in Work Package 1, the different field protocols, used by B-GOOD members to conduct analyses of colony health in the field, are showcased.
In abstract 20 the protocol, investigating the presence of queens and brood, is presented.
The ‘Colony dynamics’ protocol, examined in abstract 21, estimates the colony demography and resources, while the "Top photo analysis" (abstract 22) estimates the colony size.
Abstract 23 describes the ‘Mite infestation’ protocol, which aims at determining the mite infestation level of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor of each colony, followed by abstract 24 with the protocol, documenting the sampling for lab analysis on genotyping and diseases.
Оther protocols (25 - 29) used for identifying and monitoring the health status of honeybee colonies are the "Atypical worker behaviour", "Clinical signs of diseases", "Sampling drone brood eggs", "Queen cell presence" and "Brood pattern consistency" protocols.
More to come
The Practice abstracts are designed to enhance visibility and favour interactions between B-GOOD members and stakeholders relevant stakeholders (e.g., beekeepers, advisors). The second set of abstracts will be produced during the second half of the project and submitted to the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) platform. EIP-AGRI strives to foster competitive and sustainable farming and forestry that 'achieves more and better from less'.
Find B-GOOD’s practice abstracts collection here.