engineered bacteria, varroa treatments, bee health

14 February 2020

The finding that engineered bacteria could help against varroa and the Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) made a big buzz. These bacteria, Snodgrassella alvi, live naturally in the bee gut. Leonard et al. modified them to produce double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), which should interfere with crucial viral and varroa genes. Sounds crazy. But let’s go step by […]

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nest choice, parasites, non-managed bees, solitary bees

31 January 2020

The meaning of life, one of my professors at the university said, is to maintain yourself alive and to procreate. This may seem simplistic and against all what I usually write in this blog. And definitely not as surprising and puzzling as “42”. However, it came to my mind while reading a very exciting paper […]

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Krefeld study, insect decline, agriculture

25 November 2019

The so-called “Krefeld study” brought insect declines into public attention. After Hallmann and co-workers published their results in late 2017, the media were full of scary “insect apocalypse” and similar headlines. Without always doing the subject favour, in my opinion. This 27-year monitoring also got many critics. Sometimes justified, sometimes… not that much. Overall, the […]

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Save the bees, Bee Diversity

8 November 2019

The claim to “save the bees” is very strong these days. In principle, this is a good thing. I really appreciate that so many people are concerned about bees and biodiversity in general. Some weeks ago, somebody asked me why “the scientists” didn’t say anything earlier about biodiversity loss. Well, we did. Already Humboldt talked […]

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bee nutrition and parasites

18 October 2019

Bee nutrition and parasites are getting quite some attention these days. Which I’m very happy about, as I prefer to see bee health in a broader context than only the absence of diseases. I discussed this already in some posts like recently the one on honey bee welfare or the One Health Concept and the […]

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Darwinian beekeeping, Honey bee diseases - Course | BeeSafe

4 October 2019

Darwinian beekeeping aims to improve honey bee health by applying some principles of their biology to management techniques. Until there, it’s pretty much what we – some colleagues and me – try to establish by applying the principles of animal welfare to honey bees. By how I phrase it, you may already imagine that it […]

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