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Research project on field data collection for honey bee colony model evaluation

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  • Yoko Luise Dupont
  • Nuno Capela, Instituto do Ambiente Tecnologia e Vida at University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Per Kryger
  • Joana Alves, Instituto do Ambiente Tecnologia e Vida at University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Jørgen Aagaard Axelsen
  • Mette Balslev Greve
  • Marianne Bruus
  • Silvia Castro, Instituto do Ambiente Tecnologia e Vida at University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Julie Ørnholm Frederiksen, Aarhus University, Dept. of Bioscience, Denmark
  • Geoffrey Brian Groom
  • Annika S. Jeppesen, Aarhus University, Dept. of Bioscience, Denmark
  • Birgit Lichtenberg-Kraag, Länderinstitut für Bienenkunde Hohen Neuendorf e.V., Germany
  • Sara Lopez, Instituto do Ambiente Tecnologia e Vida at University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • M. Alice Pinto, Instituto do Ambiente Tecnologia e Vida at University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Alves da Silva Antonio, Instituto do Ambiente Tecnologia e Vida at University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Beate Strandberg
  • Peter Borgen Sørensen
  • José Paulo Sousa, Instituto do Ambiente Tecnologia e Vida at University of Coimbra, Portugal
As part of the MUST‐B project, a research project on field data collection for honey bee colony model evaluation was carried out in 2018‐2020. In a preparatory phase (2018), methods for monitoring of honey bee colonies were tested, field operators trained, and experimental colonies established. The main field experiment was conducted in 2019‐2020, during which bee colonies in six experimental apiaries were closely monitored in both Denmark and Portugal. An experimental spraying (spraying of Pirimor G in 6 ha of flowering oilseed rape) was carried out at one of the sites in Denmark in 2019. During the two‐year experiment, climate variables were recorded continuously, and availability of floral resources was mapped regularly in the landscapes surrounding each apiary (within an area of 1.5 km radius). Adult bee population, brood and provision were assessed approximately every three weeks in experimental colonies. Furthermore, the weight of colonies was logged continuously during the field seasons by automatic hive scales. At four sites, foraging activity was monitored continuously in 1‐2 colonies in 2019 and 2020. Spatial foraging was decoded from honey bee waggle dances observed once per month in four apiaries, at the same time as floral mapping. Finally, samples for analysis of diseases (varroa, Nosema and viruses), pesticide residues and botanical composition of pollen were collected. All data were organized in a relational database. Whereas previous studies have monitored similar aspects of honey bee colony development and health, the current dataset is unique in encompassing a large number of variables measured simultaneously. In particular, the current study emphasized a detailed data collection on population dynamics and development for the testing and calibration of the ApisRAM model developed in the MUST‐B project. Methods used encompassed manual and automatic monitoring. Recommendations for future data collection include an assessment of variables currently collected with confidence and variables in need of further development.
Original languageEnglish
Book seriesEFSA Journal
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages106
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021

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