$1.5 Million Will Fund Study on Collapse of Honey Bee Populations

LONDON, Oct. 2 (UPI) — Scientists at Britain’s Rothamsted Research and Warwick University have been awarded $1.5 million to study the collapse of honeybee populations.

While honeybee populations are in decline in many countries, including the United States, the British Beekeepers’ Association estimates domestic hives have declined by nearly 30 percent in the United Kingdom alone, Warwick University said in a release Thursday.

Bees living on agricultural landscapes must respond to a variety of sudden changes, including food availability, disease, parasites and other stresses, Juliet Osborne, the projects lead researcher said.

The project, to be conducted in partnership with Syngenta, a Swiss-based agriculture giant that markets seeds and pesticides, is being funded by Britain’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Field work and computer modeling will examine how bees behave outside the hive while looking for food and how that behavior interacts with what is affecting bees in the hive, Osborne said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Animals, Other
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