Visiting Denmark

Corona and INSIGNIA
As told earlier, corona did influence the INSIGNIA project. Sjef van der Steen, the leader of the INSIGNIA Project had original the aim to visit as many of our Citizen Scientist in the 9 participating countries. Mission impossibly during corona time. Traveling is/was very difficult this summer. But we found a time-window for a visit in Denmark. Lot of car driving, more than 2.000 km in the small country of Denmark. But that is possibly. To have some exercise we did on our driving tour bring our bikes (read some had electric bikes, others without motor). Continue reading “Visiting Denmark”

“Today (Friday) we received the last batch of pollen samples collected by citizen scientists from all over Europe in the first half of the season. Now, time to go to the lab and do the DNA extractions!”

Alice Pinto

Varroa – the never-ending story

Why talk about a parasite? Because only bee colonies in balance are good bioindicators.
All the INSIGNIA colonies are taken care of by our Citizens Scientist. They run the colonies as they use to. The aim is to supply a pollination service og create a honey production. The, probably, biggest treat against the honeybee colonies is the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. The mite is from 1-1,5 mm. Rather small. Varroa is living on the honeybees and does multiply in the sealed brood of the honeybees. It only bread on honeybees.

Continue reading “Varroa – the never-ending story”


Insignia is more than strips and pollen. Our colonies do also produce the most delicious honey. In Denmark, this year’s honey harvest seems until now to become good. The INSIGNIA 1 colonies gave a harvest of spring honey of around 20 kg each. The honey was harvested around the 12th of June. That is in the blooming time of the oilseed rape. Give a very creamy and tasteful honey. Other exciting flowers are expected to be in as well. The fruit trees this year looks very nice and productive a well. Dandelion was flowering very intense and hawthorn is very smelly and dominating at the end of the spring flow. Anyway, love this honey. And now we made a special edition for our colleagues around europe. By the way, the metabar coding of the pollen sampling will confirm above later in the season.

Some of the team from the University of Almaria presenting creamed honey from Denmark.


The difference is in the details

In the former blogs you can read and understand the importance of the APIStrips in the INSIGNIA project. A strip that does collect the pesticides in the hives brought home by the foraging bees. One of the exciting success of the INSIGNIA project last year. We did test a lot of strips in the 4 countries last year.
New strips were produced this year and you could say with small improvement, but very important improvements. Improvements that make the strip easy to handle for the beekeeper.
The first strips last year were bended, rounded. Difficult to explain, but you could say the strip did fill up the whole bee space. Was a bit difficult to get down between the bee frames. This year they are perfect in shape. Straight, flat. Just easy, easier to insert in the colony.
And another feature is that in the new strips, the Tenax does not cover all the strip. So that you as user can touch the strip and in this way, it is again more easy and more safe to handle the strip. No contamination.
Small things, but the success is in the small details. This year strip is better and easier and safer to handle. Well done.
Flemming Vejsnæs

First APIStrips now inserted in Denmark

Got nice pictures from our Citizen Scientist from the Northern part of Denmark on inserting APIStrips yesterday. Even Denmark is a small country, we see differences between different parts of Denmark in the development of bee colonies. The same for the starting of flowering of the important pollen and nectar sources. The colonies are on the special Danish frame size we call 12×10 inches. Is a relative high frame type. Good for storage of winter food and does give a good overwintering. The size of the sampling colonies is one box, or you could say 9 and 8 frames of bees. These colonies have a nice size this time of the year and will soon explode along with the springtime here in Denmark. Weather is changing a loot this day, meaning this morning we had to scrape ice from our car windows. Denmark is started.