Thursday 13 December 2018

Trinity scientists in €9m 'PoshBee' project to help protect hive populations

Scientists will probe the reasons bee populations have been under pressure
Scientists will probe the reasons bee populations have been under pressure
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

Scientists from Trinity College are leading a major European study to help improve the health of bees.

Pollination experts from the university plan to work with 42 groups from across Europe to help prevent the insects dying out.

The research project, named PoshBee, has a funding budget of €9m for five years and will work with beekeepers and farmers to try to understand what is pressurising the population.

The project is led by former Trinity College Dublin zoologist Professor Mark Brown at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Professor in botany Jane Stout, who will head fieldwork across eight countries, said bees are affected by agrochemicals, disease and loss of floral resources.

Earlier this week, wildlife broadcaster David Attenborough publicised a simple idea to help save any bees that look like they are dying around this time of year - with a spoon of sugar water.

"Bees can become tired and they simply don't have enough energy to return to the hive, which can often result in being swept away. If you find a tired bee in your home, a simple solution of sugar and water will help revive an exhausted bee," he said. "Simply mix two tablespoons of white granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, and place on a spoon for the bee to reach."

Irish Independent

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