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anses

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Bee health: ANSES reviews the latest scientific developments

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News of 06/12/2018

ANSES is holding its annual scientific conference on bee health. This event is an opportunity for the Agency to review the latest major developments in research and surveillance in this field. For this seventh edition, ANSES is inviting the various stakeholders involved in the issue to discuss the latest scientific advances, technological innovations and international and local initiatives contributing to adequate prevention and protection of the health of pollinating insects.

Bee health is a major issue that transcends borders, and it is at the very heart of the challenges involved in safeguarding biodiversity. If we are to better understand the phenomenon of bee colony weakening and combat excess mortality, it seems essential to be able to monitor the health of colonies and assess the risks to which they are exposed, in order to adapt beekeeping and agricultural practices accordingly.

As an opportunity to discuss these key questions in light of the latest scientific knowledge, this conference on bee health has become an unmissable event for the various stakeholders, whether they are scientists, professionals, decision-makers or representatives from civil society. ANSES decided to open this seventh edition with a review of the history of beekeeping, a tradition that goes back several millennia. An introductory lecture will therefore give an unprecedented explanation of how hive products have evolved, through organic chemistry research carried out on prehistoric pottery.

 

Research and innovation to protect bee health

The day will then continue with presentations on European research projects that are shedding light on the various health hazards threatening bees, such as the virus transmitted by the Varroa destructor mite, predation by the Asian hornet Vespa velutina, and the effects of chemical contaminants and infectious and parasitic agents. The latest innovation research will also be presented, with a focus on analytical chemistry methods and technological and connected tools such as infrared thermal cameras – all major innovations helping to better identify the causes of bee mortality in real time.

 

The importance of knowledge sharing

This meeting will unveil the initial results of a national survey on colony mortality rates during the 2017-2018 winter period, conducted as part of the national epidemiological surveillance platform for animal health (ESA). A briefing on the new EU Bee Partnership, led by the European Food Safety Authority, will also provide an opportunity to discuss the central issue of data sharing at both national and international levels.

The day will conclude with a round table whose novel format will bring together various stakeholders to present a number of virtuous initiatives implemented at regional level to improve the quality of the environment and preserve bee health.

ANSES is a major player in the assessment of risks to bee health. Thanks to the missions led by its Sophia Antipolis Laboratory under its mandate as European Union Reference Laboratory, the Agency plays a central role in the projects and initiatives carried out at European level for the advancement of scientific research and expertise for the protection of pollinating insect health.