BPRACTICES - New methods of international governance

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Changed on: 08.06.2021

The ERA-Net project BPRACTICES identifies and develops new methods of colony management with the active participation of beekeepers.


Bee diseases and bee pests contribute significantly to colony losses in Europe. Important factors are the Varroa mite, viruses, American foulbrood, European foulbrood and Nosema. Since 2014, a new parasite of the honey bee, the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida), has appeared in the EU. It is already widespread in southern Italy and endangers bee colonies in addition to the aforementioned threats.

The Project

ERA-Net SusAn BPRACTICES. New management practices for sustainable beekeeping.

The BPRACTICES project ("New indicators and measures of beekeeping practice to improve bee health in Europe in the age of Aethina tumida") is funded by the European Union from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, ERA-Net SusAn - European Research Area for Sustainable Animal Production Systems, and will run for three years (2017-2020). The consortium is led by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e della Toscana (IZSLT), Italy, and brings together seven partners (including the AGES Bee Science and Protection Division) from European and non-European countries. Consortium partners are research institutes, universities and health authorities.

The main objective is the identification and development of new methods for colony management (Good Beekeeping Practices - GBP) with the active participation of beekeepers. An essential element is the detection of pathogens and parasites of the honey bee already in the preclinical stage by means of innovative techniques (e.g. PCR from waste or biosensors from honey). New methods for combating honeybee diseases will also be tested. The international cooperation between the different countries involved in the project and the participation of the EU Reference Laboratory for Bee Health guarantee that a wealth of experience and knowledge will be contributed. The cooperation with the International Association of Beekeepers' Associations (Apimondia) is very exciting, and the beekeepers' point of view is given a lot of attention. Last but not least, consumers will learn details about the origin and method of production of bee products via an innovative traceability system based on the QRCode/RFID technology. The aim is to raise awareness for the positive effects of beekeeping on the environment and the associated ecosystem services. Another goal is the harmonisation of methods. The innovative production system should be applicable in every European country and cover all levels of beekeeping, from the ecological aspect to economic elements.

For further information on BPRACTICES