Download the BPRACTICES factsheet pdf

New indicators and on-farm practices to improve honeybee health in the Aetina tumida era in Europe 

Challenge - European beekeeping suffers significant regional differences in colony losses due to external impacts on beekeeping, including climate and prevalence of diseases. This situation is likely to worsen with the spread of Aethina tumida (Small Hive Beetle – SHB). Together with other bee diseases, this new parasite may play an important role in colony losses and to beekeeping economy.

Objectives - This project aims to develop Good Beekeeping Practices adopting new clinical methods, and biomechanical and innovative biomolecular techniques respecting the natural behaviour of bees.

Expected results - The research activities will focus on developing new biosensors from honey to monitor SHB presence and PCR techniques to diagnose honeybee diseases from debris, in collaboration with the EURL for Honeybee Health. Another goal will be to accelerate and raise efficiency of the clinical inspection of hives to detect SHB. At the apiary level, a bee-friendly management strategy will be developed to monitor and control honeybee diseases, protecting their health and avoiding the application of chemical treatments guaranteeing quality and safety of hive products.

Potential Impact - Innovations will be validated in the daily apiary activities and disseminated internationally in collaboration with TECA/FAO, APIMONDIA and EPBA. The economical impact on the beekeeping industry will be quantified. Consumers will be aware of the positive environmental impact of beekeeping and the ecosystem services provided, thanks to a cutting-edge traceability system using QR-code/RFID technology.

Coordinated by: Dr. Giovanni Formato - Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e della Toscana M. Aleandri’ (ITALY) - Contact

Funded by: MoH, BMLFUW, MKGP, INIA, TUBITAK and Mississipi State University as part of the ERA-NET Cofund SusAn through a virtual common pot model including EU Top-Up funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no 696231)

6 research partners:

  • AUSTRIA: Austrian Agency for Health & Food Safety
  • ITALY: Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
  • SLOVENIA: Agricultural Institute of Slovenia
  • SPAIN: Centro de Investigación Apícola y Agroambiental de Marchamola
  • TURKEY: University of Namik Kemal
  • USA: Mississippi State University

More information

This project has been funded by MoH, BMLFUW, MKGP, INIA and TUBITAK as a part of the ERA-Net Cofund SusAn (grantnr 696231) through a virtual common pot model with EU top-up.