Research on the link between the health of bees populations and different potentially explanatory variables in a spatially explicit way for Belgium

01 January 2014 → 31 December 2014
Regional and community funding: IWT/VLAIO
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Animal biology
bee population
Project description

Bees are honey producers, but above all they play an essential role in maintaining good biodiversity because they are one of the most important pollinators of many plant species. For example, 80% of pollination should be due to bees activity (source: European Commission). However, throughout the world, increased mortality is observed among bees populations (both in honey bees and in wild bees). Bee experts, scientists and governments around the world agree that various factors are responsible for the dying of bees. The problems with bees can be attributed to diseases and parasites (especially the Varroa mites), extraordinary environmental and climate conditions such as air pollution and electromagnetic radiation, reduced food supply and reduced nesting, but also agriculture (using plant protection products) and beekeeping practices. At present, there is no scientific consensus about the extent to which the various factors described above contribute to the bee mortality. Some researchers especially point out the Varroa myth as guilty, while other researchers just point out the plant protection products as the main cause. Yet other researchers point out synergistic and combination effects between the various aspects.