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Bees in Europe and Sustainable Honey Production

Objective

Honey is among the oldest food products of mankind and beekeeping is deeply rooted in every European culture. Numerous European and national regulations control honey quality, which reflects both the high nutritional and societal value of the product. Yet in an environment with increasing chemical pollution and the wide use of agrochemicals, honey runs high risks of becoming chemically polluted. In addition a broad spectrum of chemicals is used to treat honeybee diseases, further contaminating honey with sometimes highly toxic compounds.

The BEE SHOP is a network of ten leading European honeybee research groups in honey quality, pathology, genetics and behaviour as well as selected beekeeping industries, which all share a common interest in promoting Europe's high honey quality standards. The prime goal is to reduce potential sources of honey contamination due to both foraging contaminated nectar and chemotherapy of honeybee diseases. The BEE SHOP will therefore deal with the development of biological resistance to pests and pathogens to avoid chemotherapy. Various European honeybee races and populations will be screened for their disease resistance potential to the main pressing pathogens. Differences in foraging patterns among European honeybees and their underlying mechanisms will be studied to identify behavioural traits reducing contamination. Differences in disease susceptibility will be genetically analysed by QTL mapping.

Major loci in the genome will be identified with the aid of the published honeybee genome. SNPs will be developed to allow for selection of specific target genes in both drones and queens before insemination. This will greatly accelerate the selection progress in honeybee breeding allowing for the swift establishment of resistant but efficient stock. New tools for testing honey quality and authenticity will be developed to allow inspections of honey according to the current EC directives on honey quality and organic beekeeping.

Call for proposal

FP6-2004-FOOD-3-B
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project

Coordinator

MARTIN-LUTHER-UNIVERSITAET HALLE-WITTENBERG
Address
Universitaetsplatz 10
Halle (Saale)
Germany

Participants (8)

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
Address
Serrano 117
Madrid
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
16 Avenue Edouard Belin
Toulouse
CONSIGLIO PER LA RICERCA E LA SPERIMENTAZIONE IN AGRICOLTURA
Italy
Address
Via Nazionale 82
Roma
INSITUTE OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, SLOVAK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Slovakia
Address
Dubravska Cesta 21
Bratislava
QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY BELFAST
United Kingdom
Address
University Road
Belfast
SVERIGES LANTBRUKSUNIVERSITET (SWEDISH UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES)
Sweden
Address
Ulls Vaeg 24A
Uppsala
UNIVERSITAET HOHENHEIM
Germany
Address
Schloss 1
Stuttgart
VYZKUMNY USTAV VCELARSKY, S.R.O., MASLOVICE - DOL, LIBCICE NAD VLTAVOU, CZECH REPUBLIC [BEE RESEARCH INSTITUTE AT DOL]
Czechia
Address
Dol 94
Libcice Nad Vltavou