All bees pollinate crops and wildflowers and are essential for both human and planetary well-being. However, all around the globe, bees face many threats and are often in decline. While studies suggest that agrochemicals have a negative impact on bee health, their importance and relevance in the real world remains unclear.
PoshBee aims to support healthy bee populations, sustainable beekeeping and pollination across Europe. Integrating the knowledge and experience of local beekeeping, farming organisations and academic researchers, PoshBee will provide the first comprehensive pan-European assessment of the exposure hazard of chemicals, their mixtures, and co-occurrence with pathogens and nutritional stress for bees across two major cropping systems.
- Measure hazard: drawing on the expertise of a diverse range of actors, PoshBee will quantify the exposure of bees to chemicals within major agricultural cropping systems across Europe.
- Assess toxicity: through the development of innovative protocols and novel model systems, co-created with end-user partners, we will assess toxicity and dynamics of key agrochemicals, and their mixtures in bees.
- Estimate health effects: taking a trans-disciplinary approach, we will integrate laboratory, semi-field, field, and landscape studies to provide a holistic understanding of how chemicals, their mixtures, and their interactions with pathogens and nutrition drive health in bees.
- Develop a bee health model: within PoshBee we will develop the first mechanistically-underpinned holistic model of bee health.
- Monitor tools and protocols: we will provide validated tools for the monitoring and assessment of bee health and exposure stressors.
- Drive policy and practice: working together with key stakeholders in the honey bee, agrochemical, farming, pollination service, research, EU policy and regulatory, and bee conservation sectors alike, we will develop a European bee health knowledge exchange hub.
SESS is involved in expanding the range of environments for simulation by collation of landscape context data to create largely automated landscape capture for input into the simulation framework ALMaSS. SESS will build on the work from EFSA ApisRAM by developing an agent-based model for Bombus terrestris. This will lead to tools for risk assessment of environmental threats to bee health.
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