Harpenden boffins probe mystery of disappearing bees

PUBLISHED: 13:03 12 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

SCIENTISTS in Harpenden have been given a buzz after being awarded £1million to investigate the disappearance of the honeybee. Rothamsted Research and the University of Warwick have joined forces to research the decline of honeybees, a worldwide problem

SCIENTISTS in Harpenden have been given a buzz after being awarded £1million to investigate the disappearance of the honeybee.

Rothamsted Research and the University of Warwick have joined forces to research the decline of honeybees, a worldwide problem which has seen the number of bees fall by 10 to 15 per cent in this country according to UK government figures.

Lead researcher at Rothamsted, Dr Juliet Osborne, said that honeybees were very vulnerable insects.

"Bees living on agricultural landscapes have a lot to deal with, from sudden changes in availability of food to a variety of diseases.

"This project will provide us with a unique insight into how disease and food supply affect the survival of bees in farmed landscapes."

Dr Osborne's project, which is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will use a combination of field work and computer modelling to look at how the bees' behaviour outside the hive corresponds with what is affecting them inside the hive.

Dr Peter Campbell of Syngenta, which is in partnership with BBSRC, said that he had high hopes for the project: "This work will substantially improve our understanding of the many factors affecting honeybee health.

"A main outcome of the project will be a predictive tool that can help beekeepers improve honeybee health.

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:00

Unseen work by a successful artist has been discovered and published by her son after her passing.

Yesterday, 12:00

A St Albans man is hoping to raise over £200 for charity through a Christmas lights display.

Yesterday, 09:00

A thief from St Albans who used multiple aliases was given a suspended sentence for stealing from and damaging cars.

Fri, 15:51

A London Colney primary school went the extra mile for its nativity play by including a real donkey and baby.

CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards