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NO PROBleMS - Nourishing PRObiotics to Bees to Mitigate Stressors
Horizon 2020 MSCA-RISE-2017

In the last decades, bees have been threatened by a number of biotic and abiotic stresses, which strongly affect beehives integrity. Consequently, the beekeeping sector together with ecosystem and agricultural sectors depending on pollinators suffer of missed pollination. Nosema ceranae is a bee gut parasite that has received particular attention in the last years because it causes bee colonies to collapse due to energy and nutrient deficiency. Furthermore, the bee gut microbiota undergoes a dysbiosis process following infection. N. ceranae virulence in infected bees escalates when forager bees uptake sub-lethal doses of insecticides such as Neonicotinoids from the polluted agricultural environment surrounding the hive. 

The European Union banning of antibiotics for therapeutic use in the beekeeping sector approved in 2001 has deprived beekeepers of Fumagillin-B, the sole antibiotic previously available to control Nosema sp. The need to find alternative treatments to fight bee diseases has led researchers to the study of eco-friendly practices. Our proposed research aims to develop a strategy for the health of the bee gut based on microbial and plant resources to inhibit N. ceranae proliferation and to mitigate the effect of synergic bee stressors. 

The project is developed by a consortium formed by 4 research institutions and 3 SMEs of 3 different European countries and a third country (Argentina). Research institutions will do the experimental work on bees aimed at the definition of a strategy based on the use of beneficial bacteria and plant extracts and at the evaluation of the impact on the bee gut of the developed formulation. SMEs will contribute to the choice of the ingredients of the prototype formulation and at finding a strategy to produce it. Researchers will perform secondments in research institutions and SMEs to facilitate transfer of knowledge between the research and the production sector.

Click here to access the project website.

Further information is available on request from the Division of Rural Sciences and Food Systems.

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Last Updated: 27 July 2018

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