For the modern beekeeper protecting the colony from climate change and parasites is crucial to ensuring survival. Dr Francesca Gaggia, from the University of Bologna, together with his colleague Prof. David Mifsud, from the University of Malta, are actively researching a way to boost bees’ immunity in an organic and sustainable manner - through the use of probiotics.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that keep the bee gut healthy. This is particularly useful for treating parasites such as Nosema ceranae, which can decimate a bee colony in a matter of weeks. The parasite nests within the bees’ gut and symptoms only reveal themselves when it is too late to take action.
Thanks to the NO PROBleMS (Nourishing PRObiotics to Bees to Mitigate Stressors) project, these two researchers and their teams are taking a preventive approach to help safeguard our global pollinators.