Project properties

Title Understanding and preventing colony collapses in honeybees
Group Wildlife Ecology and Conservation group
Project type thesis
Credits > 29
Supervisor(s) dr. Frank van Langevelde
dr. Coby van Dooremalen
Examiner(s) F. van Langevelde
Contact info or
Begin date 2013/12/01
End date 2022/12/31
Description High losses of managed honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies reduce pollination, which will threaten our ability to maintain sufficient crop production. To date, no individual factor has been attributed to the recent high losses of honeybee colonies; indeed, colony losses are likely due to several simultaneously occurring stressors, including parasites, pesticides and disease. Bees@wur together with REG are currently trying to unravel the causes of mortality and to develop methods in which beekeepers can keep healthy bees. We investigate the role of environmental factors such as food availability, diseases such as Nosema ceranae, parasites such as the mite Varroa destructor, insecticides or interactions between these factors on the fitness of honeybees. The experiments range from experiments on flight behaviour (using a flight mill, UHF tags or high-speed camera, together with EZO) or ability for thermoregulation, field work on colony dynamics, or mathematical modelling. A lot of data is available for a BSc thesis.

[population dynamics, host-parasite interaction; animal health, disease ecology]
Used skills experiment, field work, modelling
Requirements Animal Ecology, Ecological Methods