The NFU is joining project partners from across Europe this bank holiday for the ‘kick-off’ meeting of an EU-funded project looking at what is stressing bees - PoshBee.
With an EU Horizon 2020 research grant of €9million, the 5-year project will study honey bees, bumble bees, and solitary bees, which are facing many threats across Europe.
Standing for ‘Pan-European assessment, monitoring, and mitigation of stressors on the health of bees’, PoshBee aims to support healthy bee populations, sustainable beekeeping and pollination across Europe. Integrating the knowledge and experience of academics, beekeepers and farmers, PoshBee sets out to evaluate the impacts of pressures on various bee populations and develop new tools to help reduce the negative effects on the insects.
The study will
- provide the first comprehensive pan-European assessment of the exposure hazard of chemicals encountered by bees
- determine how chemicals alone, in mixtures, and in combination with pathogens and nutrition, affect bee health, and
- meet the need for monitoring tools, novel screening protocols, and a range of advice and tools for beekeepers, farmers, policymakers and others that will help keep our bees healthy in the future.
NFU lead on bee health issues, Dr Chris Hartfield, will be representing farmers on the project. He said: “As managers of agricultural and horticultural land and custodians of much of the wider countryside, farmers and growers have a huge amount to offer in terms of helping to tackle problems faced by bees.
“We see farmers and growers as part of the solution for all pollinators. Farming continues to deliver real benefits for pollinators, through continuing development of Integrated Pest Management and uptake of positive management to provide pollinators with food and a home, such as the voluntary measures promoted by the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE)."