Workshop – The health status of a managed honeybee colony


The EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare, together with the Panel on Plant Health, is working on the HEALTHY-B self-mandate that has the objective to map indicators and factors that could be included in large field studies to monitor the health status of a managed honeybee colony. The outcome of the work is a scientific opinion describing a framework that can be consulted by all stakeholders involved in measuring, analysing and reporting bee health in the EU. A workshop was organised with around 60 participants representing different stakeholder groups to identify relevant scientific evidence not yet included, to clarify the draft framework and to discuss potential harmonisation of measurements and reporting across the Member States. The outcome of the discussions and the collected information are very useful and will help the HEALTHY-B working group when finalising the draft scientific opinion. EFSA also explained how the HEALTHY-B framework will contribute to the progress of a wider EFSA mandate on multiple stressors in bees (MUST-B). Furthermore, the framework could be seen as a toolbox from which one could select what is needed and relevant according to the specific objectives of a given study assessing bee health. Further improvement of the ‘tools’ and gradual uptake by persons involved in bee health would provide opportunities to compare studies and would facilitate meta-analysis. Examples will be included in the HEALTHY-B scientific opinion to explain how the framework/toolbox could be used by different stakeholder groups.

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First published in EFSA Supporting Publications
29 June 2016