Honey bees are extremely important to the economy of European agriculture and are worth billions of euros as honey producers and crop pollinators. Pollination is also of considerable importance to the environment. However, the fate of the European honey bees is seriously compromised and, with it, the beekeeping sector. Massive deaths of honey bees have taken place all over Europe and the USA. While the spread of a new pathogen, Nosema ceranae, is thought to be linked to bee depopulation episodes, there are currently no diagnostic tests for this species adapted to the needs of beekeepers. Consequently, there is an urgent and timely need to develop methods to help beekeepers detect for this virulent pathogen, so as to control its spread and reduce its dramatic economic impact on the beekeeping sector. The beekeeping associations of this proposal are determined to develop this diagnostic tool and to disseminate its use at European level. These goals will be achieved through the present CLEANHIVE project through the development of a diagnostic kit that will combine the robustness and specificity of lateral flow assays with the sensitivity and data management achieved with optical readers. This diagnostic tool will be designed following beekeeper’s needs in terms of portability, sensitivity and cost. The CLEANHIVE diagnostic assay will not only allow the control of the spread of N. ceranae, but also will ensure the continuity of the beekeeping sector and the benefits of pollination to the European economy.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME-AG - Research for SME associations/groupings