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Honey bee diseases, genetics and pollination

The activities of honey bees and other pollinators is vital for agricultural production and protection of biodiversity. The financial importance of pollinators for European agriculture is estimated to be more than 20 billion euros per year. Beekeepers depend on honey bees for pollination, however, crop growers are even more financially dependent on honey bees for the pollination of their crops. 

Severe and frequent losses of honey bee in winter are reported. At the same time, we are seeing a decrease in the number of wild bees across the EU. A better understanding of the underlying issues is needed to resolve this crisis. 

Our research area builds on more than one hundred years of systematic monitoring of diseases in honey bees. Our aim is to support a healthy and productive population of honey bees in Denmark and the rest of the EU through improved understanding of the diseases and productivity of honey bees. 

We carry out strategic and basic research in honey bee health. Specific projects focus on the importance of food resources for disease resistance, honey bee genetics, and diversity. We work with improved control of varroa mites to help beekeepers with timely control. We are responsible for engaging and supporting hundreds of beekeepers with their participation in monitoring programmes and disease control. An important element is courses for experienced beekeepers and continuing education of experienced beekeepers and bee inspectors.