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Title. Pan-european assessment, monitoring, and mitigation Of Stressors on the Health of BEEs.

Funding. European Union, H2020 program, 2018-2023.

Partners - Information.

Contact. Denis Michez, Alexandre Barraud.

Abstract. Bees – honey bees, bumble bees, and solitary bees – pollinate our crops and wildflowers, and thus are essential for human well-being. However, in Europe, and around the globe, bees face many threats and are often in decline as a result. One potential driver of reduced bee health is agrochemicals. While laboratory and semi-field studies suggest that such chemicals negatively impact bee health, their importance and relevance in the real world remains unclear. PoshBee is a consortium of academics, governmental organisations, industry, and NGOs that will address the issue of agrochemicals to ensure the sustainable health of bees and their pollination services in Europe. Integrating the knowledge and experience of local beekeeping and farming organisations and academic researchers (including the EU RefLab for bee health), we will provide the first comprehensive pan-European assessment of the exposure hazard of chemicals, their mixtures, and co-occurrence with pathogens and nutritional stress for solitary, bumble, and honey bees across two major cropping systems. Integrated studies across the lab-to-field axis will determine the effect of chemicals, their mixtures, and interactions with pathogens and nutrition on bee health. We will combine the skills of commercial bumble bee and solitary bee producers, ecotoxicological industry, and academics to develop new model species and innovative protocols for testing chemicals in bees. With MUST-B, we will integrate this information to develop dynamic landscape environmental risk assessment models for bees. Using proteomics, we will produce new molecular markers for assessing bee health and enabling long-term monitoring schemes. Finally, combining across our partners and stakeholder board, we will deliver practice- and policy-relevant research outputs to local, national, European, and global stakeholders. Together, our work will support healthy bee populations, sustainable beekeeping, and sustainable pollination across Europe.